Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman

Mumbai: Funds spent by companies to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will be eligible to be classified as corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity, the government said on Monday.

This has been done as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus as pandemic and the government is treating it as a notified disaster, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

"Funds may be spent for various activities related to COVID-19 relating to the promotion of health care, including preventive health care and sanitation, and disaster management," it said.

The funds are broadbased and may be interpreted liberally for this purpose, said the ministry. India is the first country in the world to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandatory, following an amendment to the Companies Act 2013.

Companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, or an annual turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or net profit of Rs 5 crore are required to spend two per cent of their average net profits of three years on CSR activities.

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