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UPA decision to provide CSR funds to government relief funds: Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the previous UPA government decided to give corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to several relief funds.

Sitharaman was answering V Sivadasan’s supplementary question on why CSR funds can’t go to state government relief funds during question hour.

It’s funny; I heard Sivadasan jee talk about why it should be given to some central government schemes and not to the Chief Ministers’ Relief Fund… (spending of CSR funds) was a big deal in 2013 during the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) regime in this House, saying it’s part of the Companies Act and I didn’t think it was right to spend it on state chief minister relief,” she said.

Basically, that was part of what the previous government decided, she said, adding that we haven’t said not to give it to the relief fund for chief ministers.

Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs, explained earlier, “The board of a company decides how the CSR fund is spent”.

You could do it under the next year’s activities. You can also deposit these funds in various (relief or care) funds created by the government like PM CARES and disaster management funds.

Companies are doing this (CSR funding) across the board. Two times, we’ve written to companies that these funds can be used for the country’s welfare,” he said.

A company’s CSR budget must go to social welfare projects under the Companies Act, 2013. Companies have to spend at least two percent of their profit on CSR.

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