SPENDING ON COVID VACCINATIONS FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T EMPLOYEES COUNTS AS CSR
According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, funds spent by firms to vaccinate anyone other than employees and their families against Covid-19 would be deemed corporate social responsibility (CSR) expenditure. The businesses may organize vaccination drives for a larger demographic to meet their CSR commitments. This provision builds on an earlier circular that stated that spending monies for Covid-19 qualify as a CSR activity. Spending CSR funds on Covid-19 vaccination for anyone other than employees and their families qualifies as a CSR activity under Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013’s item no. (i) relates to the promotion of health care, particularly preventative health care.
Companies may engage in the aforementioned activity if they comply with the Companies (CSR Policy) Rules, 2014, and the CSR circulars published by this Ministry from time to time. According to the Act, some types of prosperous businesses must devote at least 2% of their three-year average net profit to CSR initiatives in a given fiscal year.
THE BILL TO ESTABLISH A COMMISSION FOR AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION AND ADJACENT AREAS WAS INTRODUCED IN THE LOWER HOUSE
In the Lok Sabha, a bill was submitted to create a statutory entity with necessary powers to combat air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR) and surrounding areas. The Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjacent Areas Bill, 2021, will take the place of a recent ordinance. According to Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, there is a lack of a permanent, dedicated, and participatory mechanism to combat air pollution in the NCR and surrounding areas, which uses a collaborative and participatory approach involving relevant central ministries, state governments, local bodies, and other stakeholders. The bill provides:-
- the establishment of the National Capital Region and Adjacent Areas Commission for Air Quality Management;
- three Sub-Committees to support the Commission, namely the Monitoring and Identification Sub-Committee, the Safeguarding and Enforcement Sub-Committee, and the Research and Development Sub-Committee.
- the Commission’s powers and functions;
- the penalty for violating Act, rule, order, or direction provisions;
- the Commission’s imposition of Environmental Compensation for air pollution caused by stubble burning.