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India Inc urged to convert vacant office buildings into temporary Covid-19 care facilities

K.R.Srivats New Delhi | Updated on April 23, 2021

Corporate Affairs Ministry appeals to corporates to convert vacant office buildings into isolation or oxygen beds,

The Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) has urged India Inc to consider converting some of their vacant buildings into temporary Covid care facilities.

In an appeal to corporate India, the MCA Secretary, Rajesh Verma, has pointed out that in view of the ongoing work-from-home mode of operations, several corporates have vacant office buildings at their disposal.

“You may like to consider converting these vacant office buildings to temporary Covid care facilities with either isolation beds or a combination of isolation and oxygen beds to cater to rapidly increasing Covid case load in many parts of the country, some of which may lie in your vicinity,” Verma said in a letter seen by BusinessLine.

CSR funds

This appeal came on a day when the MCA clarified that corporates could utilise the CSR funds to set up makeshift hospitals and temporary Covid care facilities in consultation with the states.

Verma appealed to corporates to come forward and supplement government efforts in fulfilling the rising hospitalisation needs in view of the second Covid surge.

India on Friday reported 3,32,730 new Covid cases, the highest daily count since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

The government had recently allowed corporate India to vaccinate their employees at their premises without having to go to vaccination centres.

It may be recalled that the MCA had in March 2020 said that spending on COVID-19 would be treated as an eligible CSR activity and the coronavirus outbreak will be treated as a notified disaster. Later in August 2020, the MCA went a step further to treat the R&D spend on COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and medical devices as an eligible CSR spend. In January this year, the MCA allowed corporate India to spend its CSR funds for carrying out awareness campaigns / programmes or public outreach campaign on Covid 19 vaccination programmes.

Published on April 23, 2021

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