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Raj moves SC for CSR benefits on CM’s relief fund

June 17, 2020 05:48 AM


Raj moves SC for CSR benefits on CM’s relief fund
Murali Krishnan

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Centre in response to a Rajasthan government petition against the exclusion of contributions made to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) to deal with the Covid-19 crisis from the purview of corporate social responsibility (CSR) spending.

The Centre in May issued a notification with a retrospective effect enabling the treatment of contributions made by companies to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund, formed in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, as CSR spending.

In its plea, Rajasthan’s Congress government has sought the declaration of contributions made to CMRF as CSR spending. It has prayed for the quashing of the Centre’s circular excluding CMRF from the CSR spending purview.

“To allow the PM CARES Fund for Covid-19 as CSR but to exclude the CMRF for the very same purposes is creating a distinction without a difference,” said the plea. It added such a move is “unjust and flies in the face of the constitutional principle of co-operative federalism”.

The notification to include PM CARES in Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, related to CSR, along with the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, was issued in May and deemed to have come into force from March 28

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