Also Include CM’s Relief Fund In Companies Act As An Eligible CSR Activity: Odisha CM To PM

**Bhubaneswar: ** Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting that a specific provision for contribution to the State Chief Minister’s Relief Funds (CMRFs) also be included in the Companies Act, 2013 similar to that appearing in item (IX) of its Schedule-VII as an eligible CSR activity.

Drawing the PM’s attention to the “philanthropic activities being undertaken by the Odisha Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) and also the need for augmentation of its resources through contribution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Fund of the Corporates,” the letter of Odisha CM states:

“The Odisha CMRF, like that of other States, uses its fund for various pro-poor activities. Some such examples are relief to eligible indigent persons for their medical treatment, ex-gratia to the next of kin of the poor deceased in case of their unnatural and untimely death, compensation to the victims of road/ rail accident, assistance to the family of poor deceased for performance of his last rites under an initiative titled as ‘Harischandra Sahayata Yojana’, providing Dead Body Carriers (hearse) to the Government health institutions for easy transportation of dead body from the place of death to the house of the deceased or place of cremation/ burial under the banner termed ‘Mahaprayan’ & many such purposes. The Odisha CMRF has showed its generosity by even providing relief to victims of other States/ country such as Jammu & Kashmir & Nepal in the event of severe natural calamity there.”

“Looking into the gamut of its activities, it is felt that there is a need to augment the funds for CMRF. A number of eligible poor are still left unattended by the CMRF. In the above circumstances, it is pertinent to mention that the shortage of resources in CMRF can be addressed, to some extent, through the CSR fund of the public/ private companies,” mentions the Odisha CM’s letter.

The letter further mentions, “Section-135 of the Companies Act, 2013 & CSR Policy Rules, 2014 mandate that from April 1, 2014 every company, private limited or public limited, which, either has a net worth of Rs. 500 crore or a turnover of Rs. 1000 crore or net profit of Rs. 5 crore, has to spend at least 2 % of its average net profit on CSR activities.”

The Odisha Chief Minister in his letter also points out, “Schedule-VII of the above Act specifically enlists the activities which are eligible for receiving funds under CSR. Item (IX) of Scehdule-VII mentions contribution to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund as an eligible activity under CSR. However, this Schedule doesn’t provide for contribution to State CMRFs as an eligible activity under CSR. Hence, there is a dire need to include ‘contribution to State CMRFs’ as an eligible activity under CSR. This will also bring parity with the existing provision of contribution to PMNRF.”

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