To support the flow of CSR funds towards controlling and eradicating the pandemic, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has released two notifications on 24th August 2020.
The amendments are as follows:
(i) Those companies which in their normal course of business, are engaged in research and development activities of new vaccine, drugs and medical devices, can now incur CSR expenditure to undertake research and development activities of new vaccine, drugs and medical devices related to COVID-19 for financial years 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23. The activities need to be in collaboration with specified institutes and organisations. Also, such companies would need to disclose the relevant details in their CSR Annual Report and Board Report.
(ii) The existing list of CSR activities (as per Schedule VII of Companies Act 2013) has been broadened to include contributions made to Department of Pharmaceuticals and Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The relevant clause (ix) of Schedule VII now reads as:
(ix) (a) Contribution to incubators or research and development projects in the field of science, technology, engineering and medicine, funded by the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking or any agency of the Central Government or State Government; and
(b) Contributions to public-funded Universities; Indian Institute of Technology (IITs); National Laboratories and autonomous bodies established under Department of Atomic Energy (DAE); Department of Biotechnology (DBT); Department of Science and Technology (DST); Department of Pharmaceuticals; Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH); Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and other bodies, namely Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO); Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), engaged in conducting research in science, technology, engineering and medicine aimed at promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Click on the below links for CSR Rules amendment and Schedule VII amendments: