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Govt amends Companies Act, donations to PM CARES to be counted as CSR activity

PM CARES was set up as a public charitable trust on March 28 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

May 27, 2020 / 08:15 PM IST

The central government has amended regulations to allow the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund to receive corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding from companies.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) on May 26 notified an amendment to the Companies Act, 2013, whereby it added contributions to the PM CARES Fund under the list of activities that may be included by companies in their CSR policies.

This means donations by corporates to the PM CARES Fund will now be eligible to be counted under their CSR activities. The notification says the amendment to have come into effect retrospectively from March 28 onward.

PM CARES was set up as a public charitable trust on March 28 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  The idea was to have a "dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected".

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Donations to the fund also qualify for benefits and exemptions under Section 80G of the Income Tax (I-T) Act as well as the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA).

The first and only announcement to date, pertaining to expenditure from the PM CARES Fund, was made by the Prime Minister's Office on May 13. Rs 3,100 crore from the fund had been allocated for the country's fight against COVID-19, of which approximately Rs 2,000 crore was earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, Rs 1,000 crore for the care of migrant labourers and Rs 100 crore was to be directed to support vaccine development.
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 27, 2020 03:27 pm

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