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Donations by companies to PM-CARES Fund notified as CSR

Companies have off late announced donations to the PM-CARES Fund along with several other initiatives to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

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New Delhi, May 27 : Two months after it made the announcement, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has finally notified that donations made by companies to the Prime Ministers Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) will be considered as expenditure on corporate social responsibility.

The ministry late on May 26 notified that it has amended Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 by including contributions to PM-CARES Fund as valid CSR activity along with the earlier insertion of Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

However, to the relief of corporate contributors, the notification had clarified that changes will be deemed to have come into force on March 28, 2020 to allow for all the corporate contributions to PM-CARES Fund made in last two months to qualify as CSR spend.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had tweeted on March 29 that CSR Funds can now donate to PM CARES Fund. A ministry of corporate affairs circular issued then had also said the same suggesting that the Fund has been set up to provide relief to those affected by any kind of emergency or distress situation. But, a formal notification of the proposal never came in March.

Sources said delay in notifying the circular was primarily over the issue of whether such changes would require an amendment to Companies Act or can be done through amending the rules. Legal opinion gave a nod to the notification.

Corporate spending for various activities related to COVID-19 including promotion of healthcare, preventive healthcare, sanitation, disaster management would qualify for treatment as CSR, as per a previous circular by the ministry.

The corporate social responsibility rules make it mandatory for large Indian firms to set aside at least 2 per cent of their average net profit for socially responsible expenditures. The norms are applicable to firms with at least Rs 5 crore net profit or Rs 1,000 crore turnover or Rs 500 crore net worth. The list of activities included under CSR is decided by the government.

Companies have off late announced donations to the PM-CARES Fund along with several other initiatives to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The total corporate social responsibility (CSR) spending by the top 500 companies in the country since the applicability of mandatory CSR in 2014 is likely to cross Rs 60,000 crore by the end of the month as per industry reports.

Disaster

11 dead, 23 missing in Nepal landslides

The municipality official said over 400 affected people have been taking shelter at community building and school building in Takam, Marang and Ghantiwang.

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Kathmandu, July 11 : Landslides triggered by heavy rainfall have claimed the lives of 11 people in Nepal’s Myagdi district, while search efforts continued on Saturday for 23 missing persons.

“Ten bodies were recovered from Marang while one from Thadakhani. Efforts are on to recover 11 missing from Rikh, Kalleni, Ramche, Namruk and Kamdi, eight from Dule of Malika Rural Municipality-7 and three from Takam,” The Kathmandu Post quoted a municipality official as saying.

District Police Chief DSP Kiran Kunwar said a rescue helicopter is also preparing to fly towards the site with relief materials following improvement in weather conditions in the lower region, informed police.

Around 43 houses have been buried in landslides in the district.

The total loss of physical property has not been ascertained yet.

The municipality official said over 400 affected people have been taking shelter at community building and school building in Takam, Marang and Ghantiwang.

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Two more Congress MLAs test positive; party office shut in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru, July 11 : Two more Karnataka Congress legislators tested Covid-19 positive, while the party’s state unit office in the city has been shut after three employees were infected with the virus, an official said on Saturday.

“Our party MLAs Ajay Singh from Jewargi Assembly segment in Kalaburagi district and Prasad Abbayya from Hubli-Dharwad East seat tested positive on Friday and are under treatment at the designated hospitals,” party’s spokesman M.A. Saleem told IANS.

The party’s office on Queen’s Road in the city centre has been shut till Monday after three staffers tested positive for the corona virus symptoms.

“As the party’s office is located in a containment area, we have shut it after the three staffers had contracted the symptoms and tested positive,” said Saleem.

Singh, son of former Congress Chief Minister Dharam Singh, tweeted that he was asymptomatic and would be in quarantine for two weeks in Bengaluru.

“I request all those people who were my primary contacts to take precautions and stay safe,” Singh said in the tweet.

Abbayya got admitted to the state-run KIMS hospital at Hubli in the state’s northwest region after his throat swab tested positive.

Singh and Abbayya attended the oath-taking ceremony of the party’s state unit president D.K. Shivakumar at the party’s office in the city on July 2.

Another party MLA H.D. Ranganath from Kunigal Assembly seat in the neighbouring Tumakur district, who also attended the Shivakumar function, tested positive and is under treatment at a private hospital in the city.

Party’s MLA T.A. Raje Gowda and Chikmagaluru MLC Bhoje Gowda also tested positive and are under treatment in designated hospitals in Chikamagalur.

Chikamagalur is 240km northwest of Bengaluru in the southern state.

BJP’s MLA Rajkumar Patil Teklur from Sedam in the state’s northern Kalaburagi district also tested positive and is under treatment at a private hospital in Bengaluru.

Independent MLA Sharath Bachgowda from Hoskote Assembly segment in Bengaluru Rural also tested Covid-19 positive and is under treatment at a private hospital in the city, an official from his office said.

BJP’s MLA Bharat Shetty from Mangaluru North segment and its MLC M.K. Pranesh also tested positive and have been under treatment since July 5-6.

Veteran state Congressman B. Janardhana Poojary also tested positive for the virus and is under treatment at a private hospital in Mangaluru.

“Poorjary, 83, is under treatment at a private hospital here after he tested positive for Covid on Sunday,” party official Ravi Gowda told IANS earlier.

Mangaluru is about 360km west of Bengaluru in the southern state.

Poojary’s son J. Santhosh said his father’s condition was stable and no cause for worry as he was asymptomatic.

Karnataka’s Independent Lok Sabha member and multi-lingual South Indian actress Sumalatha Ambareesh tested positive and was under home quarantine.

Sumalatha, 56, is a parliamentary member from Mandya, about 100km from Bengaluru on way to Mysuru.

The celluloid heroine developed symptoms of headache and throat irritation on July 4. Hence, she decided to get tested, as she might have been exposed to the virus during the course of her duty and tour in her constituency.

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Yediyurappa to work from home as staffers test positive

“I am healthy. No one needs to worry. I will give advice and issue instructions through video conference,” tweeted Yediyurappa in Kannada.

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Bengaluru, July 10 : Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa would work from his official residence in the city centre for a few days, as some of his staffers at his home office tested Covid-19 positive, an official said on Friday.

“Yediyurappa, 78, will work from his official residence ”Cauvery” for some days after some staff members at his home office ”Krishna” tested positive for the virus,” an official of the Chief Minister’s office told IANS here.

The Chief Minister has cancelled all official engagements till further notice and will hold video conferences with officials and ministers on Covid-19 and other issues.

“I am healthy. No one needs to worry. I will give advice and issue instructions through video conference,” tweeted Yediyurappa in Kannada.

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