Watch: Does Guwahati have enough oxygen?

The second flow of COVID-19 is challenging more lives, and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has prompted the private sector for assistance in this predicament. 

Government and private hospitals are running out of beds, oxygen and medical personnel, and also turning away critically ill patients. In this situation, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) published a circular saying that if a company sets up temporary Covid-19 hospitals and facilities, it is acceptable to be deemed as a CSR activity.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) interpreted on April 22 that spending of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds for “setting up makeshift hospitals and temporary COVID care facilities” is an acceptable CSR activity.

“The companies may engage the aforesaid activities in deliberation with state governments subject to satisfaction of Companies (CSR) Rules, 2014 and the circulars related to CSR issues by this Ministry,” as stated by MCA.

Also Read: Ten states have 74% of new COVID-19 cases, none from Northeast

Earlier On January 22, the MCA had published an order defining that spending CSR funds on awareness campaigns and public outreach programmes to promote the vaccination against COVID-19 would also be considered as an eligible CSR activity.

Clarification on spending of CSR funds

The government’s determination to incorporate these activities under CSR comes at a point when the country’s medical scheme is grappling to fight the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Acknowledging the prevailing condition, this is a welcome move by the government. Nevertheless, it would have been excellent to make it more all-inclusive incorporating all actions associated with our struggle toward COVID-19, for instance: the supply of essentials to hospitals.

The government has also directed corporates to assist out in enhancing the generation of oxygen.

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