“Ethical responsibility by corporates in the Covid-19 crises”
Keeping in view the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in India and declaration by World Health Organisation (WHO) as a pandemic as well as the decision by the government of India to treat it as a Notified Disaster, there is a need to align the public and private sectors to combat the health crises.
India Stands at an important turning point in its fight against COVID-19 and every extraordinary situation demands extraordinary measures. The emergency fund has been created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for donations to support the Government in its fight against the impact of COVID-19.
On 23rd March 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs declared donations by the companies to Prime Minister’s emergency fund set up to fight against the Coronavirus pandemic will qualify as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure.
As per MCA Circular and 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 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure.
Rules governing CSR spending norms had been amended to pave the way for greater investment into activities related COVID-19 such as the promotion of health care, sanitisation and disaster management. All companies obligated to spend on CSR must come forward and use their CSR capacity to the fullest extent for the urgent relief at this stage.
Better global governance is necessary for solving COVID-19 crisis and the economic slowdown that could grow out of it. Our foremost responsibility should be to convert this into a step forward for global governance rather than a step away from it.
To protect our collective right to health in the current situation, we need to balance our individual rights along with collective responsibilities.