Cos spending on health infra for COVID care will be considered as CSR work, says government

The corporate affairs ministry's latest clarification comes weeks after clarifying that spending for setting up makeshift hospitals and temporary COVID-19 care facilities will be considered as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity under the companies law.
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The government on Wednesday said that spending by companies for setting up health infrastructure for COVID care will be considered as CSR activities.

The corporate affairs ministry's latest clarification comes weeks after clarifying that spending for setting up makeshift hospitals and temporary COVID-19 care facilities will be considered as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity under the companies law.

Certain class of profitable companies is required to shell out at least 2 percent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR works in a particular year.

"... spending of CSR funds for creating health infrastructure for COVID care, the establishment of medical oxygen generation and storage plants, manufacturing and supply of oxygen concentrators, ventilators, cylinders, and other medical equipment for countering COVID-19 or similar such activities" are eligible CSR activities, as per the ministry.

In this regard, the ministry, which is implementing the companies law, issued a circular on Wednesday.

The ministry also said that companies, including government ones, can undertake activities or projects or programmes using CSR funds, directly or in collaboration as a shared responsibility with other companies, subject to certain conditions.

In another development, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Wednesday announced that it will provide a term-liquidity facility of Rs 50,000 crore to ease access of funds for emergency medical services.

Under the on-tap liquidity scheme, banks will be able to provide fresh lending support to a broad range of entities, including vaccine manufacturers, importers/suppliers of vaccines and priority medical devices; hospitals/dispensaries; pathology labs; manufacturers and suppliers of oxygen and ventilators; importers of vaccines and covid-related drugs; logistics firms and also patients for treatment, the RBI said.

All loans disbursed under the scheme will be classified as priority sector loans, till repayment or maturity, according to the central bank.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

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