West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has urged the central authorities to permit firms to contribute from their CSR kitty in the direction of the emergency fund created by the state to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Mitra’s letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday echoed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s current stand on the problem.
“West Bengal has set up a state emergency fund under the umbrella of the CM’s Relief Fund, exclusively for the purpose of combating the coronavirus pandemic,” he mentioned. Referring to a round of the ministry of company affairs, Mitra acknowledged that company social accountability funds for COVID-19 are eligible to be handled as “CSR activity”.
Mitra, nevertheless, added that there’s confusion with regard to a different ministry round that mentioned contribution to the CM’s Relief Fund or a fund created particularly by the state for the pandemic doesn’t qualify as CSR exercise. The Bengal minister mentioned this can “seriously jeopardise” the state’s effort to boost funds for preventing the “catastrophic crisis” of gigantic scale and magnitude.