MCA vide two Notifications dated 24th August, 2020 has amended the Companies (CSR Policy) Rules, 2014 and Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 to provide for the following amendments:
(a) A company which, in its normal course of business, does research and development (R & D) activity of new vaccine, drugs and medical devices is now permitted to incur CSR expenditure to undertake R & D activity of new vaccine, drugs and medical devices related to COVID-19 for financial years 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 subject to the conditions that-
(i) such research and development activities are carried out in collaboration with any of the institutes or organisations mentioned in item (ix) of Schedule VII to the Act; and
(ii) details of such activity are disclosed separately in the Annual Report on CSR included in the Board’s Report.
(b) Companies may also contribute the CSR amount towards the following:
(i) R & D projects in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine funded by the Central Government or State Government or any agency or PSU of the Central Government or State Government; and
(ii) Autonomous Bodies established by the Department of Pharmaceuticals and Ministry of AYUSH.
CP Comment: The restriction on incurring CSR expenditure in activities (other than mentioned above) which are in the normal course of business of the company will continue, as it is.