CPSEs have played very constructive role in addressing the governments’ pro-poor programmes in the past as well.
The central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) have committed Rs 2,500 crore or about two-thirds of their annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to the PM CARES fund. “The CPSEs have already contributed Rs 1,500 crore and another Rs 1,000 crore will flow to the PM CARES Fund in 3-4 days,” an official told FE.
Some of the top contributors are – ONGC (Rs 300 crore), IOC (Rs 225 crore) and PFC (Rs 200 crore). The CPSEs spend about Rs 3,500 crore annually on CSR activities. The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES) was created on March 28 to enable citizens/companies to contribute to the government’s healthcare, containment and relief efforts in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs amended the CSR norms on March 29 to count contributions to the PM CARES Fund as part of their expenditure under CSR obligations. With the extent of the spread of coronavirus pandemic not yet fully known and to prepare for the long haul, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged everyone to contribute to the fund.
CPSEs have played very constructive role in addressing the governments’ pro-poor programmes in the past as well. These entities were estimated to have pumped in over Rs 2,000 crore of their CSR kitty in FY19 for the Centre’s programme for development of most backward districts in areas such as health, education and nutrition. After Companies Act was amended in 2013 to mandate firms to spend 2% of their average profit before tax on CSR, PSUs have ramped up their CSR activities.