With the number of Covid-19 cases increasing in the country, the Centre has now roped in the private sector to help in the efforts to minimise the spread of Coronavirus.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) on Monday said that spending of CSR funds for Covid-19 would be treated as eligible CSR activity. The coronavirus outbreak will be treated as a notified disaster, according to an MCA order.

“Keeping in view of the spread of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in India, its declaration as pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), and decision of Government of India to treat this as a notified disaster. It is hereby clarified that spending of CSR funds for COVID-19 is eligible CSR activity”, said the MCA order.

The MCA has said that funds may be spent for various activities related to Covid-19 under items (i) and (vii) of Schedule VII relating to promotion of healthcare, including preventive healthcare and sanitation and disaster management. The items in Schedule VII will be interpreted broadly for this purpose, according to the MCA.

Commenting on the compassionate move of the government, Rishabh Shroff, Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, a law firm, said: “By getting the private sector involved more deeply, we hope that much needed relief can be brought to affected people and parts of India. The need of the hour is all hands and resources on deck to fight this. This is just one important step.”