Advisory note for CSR companies and interested donors to fund COVID-19 relief initiatives

COVID -19 is not only the most typed term on the internet today, but also a pandemic which is spreading at a fast pace across the world. As we send out this note, India is in a lockdown state for 21 days with healthcare, economy and livelihoods struggling to cope with the impact. In testing times like these, the government, civil society and individuals are doing their bit to manage and overcome the situation. One of the main initiatives announced by the government to fund the various interventions and contribute to the readiness of the state is to allow spending of CSR funds on COVID 19, under promotion of health care, including preventive health care and sanitation, and disaster management.

This advisory note is to help you as a potential stakeholder take a decision on whether / how to deploy your CSR funds to COVID management initiatives. The circular issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs specifies that the expenditure for COVID-19 will be regarded as eligible for CSR activity. In addition to the PM relief fund and CM relief funds, contributions can be made to a newly created fund for COVID-19 relief work – the PM CARES Fund.

While pooling money in governmental funds gives an opportunity to the govt to make large scale impact, we believe real impact on ground can be made when NGOs and social enterprises working on the ground are also strengthened. niiti Consulting has collated a list of organisations that are engaged for COVID-19 relief work, in terms of providing food, shelter or livelihoods to marginalised communities, that you could also consider funding. The list of organisations will be updated every week by our team.

Announcements at a glance

Organisations helping with Food/shelter/hygiene kit/cash (with primary due diligence information)

Online Aggregator organisations/NGOs- Funding/Shelter/Food

In addition to the above mentioned, some special measures have been announced by MCA to support and enable companies and LLPs to cope with the COVID -19 threat. The circular is shared here.

An extensively informative site https://secure.mygov.in/covid-19/ has been launched for in order to break the myths and false information being floated w.r.t. COVID 19 on social media. We recommend its usage for creating awareness about the pandemic and the precautions that one must take to guard against it.

There is some confusion thanks to false news reports around changing of financial year from 31st March 2020 to 30th June 2020. Do note that the change is merely in the date of compliances which were required by 31st March 2020 either by the taxpayer or tax authorities. The due date has now been deferred till 30th June 2020.  Here is an article giving the details for more clarity and also type of compliances effected by this. https://thetaxtalk.com/2020/03/27/confusion-of-31st-march-2020-vs-30th-june-frequently-asked-question-faq/

If you have questions on your CSR planning or want to know more about the organisations we have suggested where you could spend you CSR funding, feel free to write to us at info@niiticonsulting.com.

Let’s engage, collaborate and be the change we want to see.

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