Companies can fulfill their corporate social responsibility (CSR) obligations through donations to the newly formed Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund, the corporate affairs ministry clarified on Saturday.

The emergency fund was created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday after his office received numerous requests from people for donations to support the government in its fight against the impact of Covid-19.

“People from all walks of life expressed their desire to donate to India’s war against COVID-19,” Modi said, adding the fund has been constituted respecting that spirit.

On Sunday, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman took to social media to announce that the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) had notified that CSR funds can donate to the PM CARES Fund.

As per the MCA circular, Schedule 7 of the Companies Act, 2013, contribution to any fund set up by the central government for socio-economic development and relief qualifies as CSR expenditure.

“The PM-CARES Fund has been set up to provide relief to those affected by any kind of emergency or distress situation. Accordingly, it is clarified that any contribution made to the PM CARES Fund shall qualify as CSR expenditure under the Companies Act 2013,” it said.

While the prime minister is the chairman of the new public charitable trust, its members include the defence minister Rajnath Singh, home minister Amit Shah and the finance minister.

Appealing to citizens to donate generously, Modi said, “It is my appeal to my fellow Indians, kindly contribute to the PM-CARES Fund. This Fund will also cater to similar distressing situations, if they occur in the times ahead.”

People can visit
www.pmindia.gov.in to make contributions using credit and debit cards, UPI, net banking and RTGS or NEFT.

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