Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has decided to expand the scope of corporate spend under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) norms. Today’s announcement has widened the extent of CSR activities and companies can now contribute towards research across various fields such as science, technology, medicine, etc.
Till now, companies were allowed to provide CSR funds to technology incubators located within Centre-approved academic institutions.
“Now CSR fund can be spent on incubators funded by central or state government or any agency or public sector undertaking of central or state government, and, making contributions to public-funded universities, IITs, national laboratories and autonomous bodies (established under the auspices of ICAR, ICMR, CSIR, DAE, DRDO, DST, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) engaged in conducting research in science, technology, engineering and medicine aimed at promoting SDGs (sustainable development goals),” the government said in a statement.
Now, only 1.2% CSR spending allowed on Center/ State/ PSU funded incubators and public-funded universities. These include initiatives that would have social, economic and environmental impact or a way to give back to the society, such as promoting gender equality, empowering women, promoting education, eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition, rural development projects, conserving natural resources, among others.