UPA’s decision to provide CSR fund to govt relief fund in 2013: Sitharaman

The decision to provide corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to various relief funds of the central government was taken by the previous UPA government in 2013, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanon on Tuesday said in the Rajya Sabha.

Sitharaman was responding to a supplementary query of (CPI-M) member V Sivadasan during the question hour that why CSR funds cannot be given to chief ministers’ relief funds of state governments.

“I heard the honourable member Sivadasan jee speak as to why it can be given to certain central government schemes and not be given for Chief Ministers’ relief fund…(spending of CSR funds) was very much discussed and talked about during the UPA (United Progressive Alliance regime in) 2013 in this House saying CSR is part of the Companies Act and thought it fit that not to do (spend) it in favour of state chief ministers’ relief fund,” she said.

So, that was part of what was decided in the previous government, she said, adding that we have not said that it should not be given to the chief ministers’ relief fund.

Earlier explaining the issue, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Rao Inderjit Singh said, “The board of a company decided the spending of the CSR fund on various activities”.

One option is that it can be done under the activities scheduled for the next year. These funds can also be deposited in various (relief or care) funds created by the central government like PM CARES Fund or disaster management fund, he added.

“This (CSR funding) is (a) broad-based activity of the companies. We have written letters to companies twice in 2014 and in 2021 that these funds can be spent for (the) welfare of the country,” he said.

The Companies Act, 2013, mandates spending for CSR projects towards social welfare activities. The companies are mandated to spend at least two per cent of their profits under CSR.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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