Data and insights on CSR’s COVID-19 response
A closer look at what the CSR community is thinking, and how their funds are being spent in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
India reported its first case of COVID-19 on January 30th, 2020, the same day the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared this a public health emergency of international concern. Up until the date of publishing this article, India had a total of 3,666 active cases with 109 deaths, with the expectation that numbers will increase across states in the coming days. The government has taken strict measures such as invoking the The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and a countrywide lockdown, which started on March 24th for three weeks, and has just been extended for approximately three more weeks.
In addition, the Government of India recently declared that companies tackling the COVID-19 crisis would be eligible under the two percent CSR mandate 1 laid out in The Companies Act, 2013. The CSR spend on the COVID-19 response would come under items (i) and (xii) of Schedule VII relating to the promotion of healthcare, including preventive healthcare and sanitation, and disaster management. The CSR community has been quick to respond, with most committees and boards working overtime to speed up internal processes and get approvals for spends and additional budgets. In this article, we address some of the questions that companies frequently ask us.
1. How is the CSR community responding to COVID-19?
2. How do I maximise impact with my funding in the current situation? How do I decide between different options of funding?
3. Should I divert funding from my current programmes, especially if work is stalled due to the lockdown?
4. Workers and entrepreneurs associated with our value chains are vulnerable due to the pandemic. If we work towards rehabilitation of these affected communities, would it still be considered CSR?
5. How can I leverage my employees’ contributions for COVID-19 response? What are some of the avenues through which they can contribute?.
Read the article, originally published on India Development Review here.
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