PM CARES Fund Donation to Qualify as CSR Spending

Firms will now be able to fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) duties via contributions to the newly created Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs clarified the same on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi created this emergency fund on Saturday after his office received multiple requests from citizens for donations to help the government in its battle against Covid-19’s effects.

Companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore, Rs 1,000 crore revenue or with a net profit of Rs 5 crore must spend a minimum of 2% out of the profit on CSR. Funds related to CSR can be utilised for promoting disaster and healthcare management. 

According to official figures, companies spend around Rs 15,000 crore annually on CSR. The Companies Act stipulates that companies with a net value of at least Rs 500 crore or revenue worth Rs 1,000 crore or net profit of minimum Rs 5 crore must spend minimum 2% of their net profit on CSR. MCA had explained last week that companies could use their CSR funds to combat the coronavirus disease that has been identified as a disaster.

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CSR funds can be used for programs such as healthcare promotion, preventive care programs, disaster management activities which includes rehabilitation, relief and reconstruction programs. Companies are provided with the flexibility of making a broad interpretation of the areas defined for CSR funds.

According to the MCA circular, Schedule 7 of the Companies Act, 2013, a donation to a fund set up initiated by the central government concerning socio-economic relief and development will qualify as CSR expenditure.

The prime minister will be the chairman of the new public charitable trust. The members of the trust will include Rajnath Singh (Minister of Defense), Amit Shah (Minister of Home Affairs) and the Minister of Finance.

To make donations, people can also visit via debit and credit cards, net banking, RTGS, UPI, or NEFT. 

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