BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today requested the Centre to include 'contribution to state Chief Minister's relief funds (CMRFs)' as an eligible activity under the corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“There is a dire need to include contribution to state CMRFs as an eligible activity under CSR. This will also bring parity with the existing provision of contribution to Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF),” the Chief Minister said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Chief Minister said section-135 of the Companies Act, 2013 and CSR Policy Rules, 2014 mandate that from April 1, 2014 every company, private limited or public limited, which, either has a net worth of Rs 500 crore or a turnover of Rs 1000 crore or net profit of Rs 5 crore, has to spend at least 2 percent of its average net profit on CSR activities.
“Schdule-VII of the above Act specifically enlists the activities which are eligible for receiving funds under CSR. Item (IX) of Schedule-VII mentions contribution to the PMNRF as an eligible activity under CSR. However, this Schedule does not provide for contribution to state CMRFs as an eligible activity under CSR,” he said.
The chief minister said the Odisha CMRF like that of other states, uses its fund for various pro-poor activities.
Some such examples are relief to eligible indigent persons for their medical treatment, ex-gratia to the next of kin of the poor deceased in case of their unnatural and untimely death, compensation to the victims of road/rail accident, assistance to the family of poor deceased for performance of his last rites under an initiative titled as 'Harischandra Sahayata Yojana', providing dead body carriers (hearse) to the government health institutions for easy transportation of dead body from the place of death to the house of the deceased or place of cremation/burial under the banner Mahaprayan and many such purposes.
Besides, the Odisha CMRF has shown its generosity by even providing relief to victims of other states/country such as Jammu and Kashmir and Nepal in the event of severe natural calamity there, he said.
Looking into the gamut of its activities, it is felt that there is a need to augment funds for CMRF, the chief minister said and added a number of eligible poor are still left unattended by the CMRF.
In the above circumstances, it is pertinent to mention that the shortage of resources in CMRF can be addressed, to some extent, through CSR fund of the public/private companies, he said and added, “It is, therefore, requested that a specific provision for contribution to the state CMRFs may also be included in the Companies Act, 2013 similar to that appearing in item (IX) of its schedule-VII, as an eligible CSR activity.