August 26, 2020 3:14:23 am
In a move to boost India’s efforts to find effective medicines and vaccines against Covid-19, the government is temporarily allowing investment towards such efforts to be considered as fulfillment of a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations.
This includes pharmaceutical, vaccine and medical device firms, which are expected to undertake research and development of new drugs, vaccines and medical devices as part of their regular business activities.
In fresh amendments to the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility) Rules, 2014, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has inserted a provision that would allow firms to claim CSR benefits for such activities until the 2022-2023 financial year.
For now, firms engaged in “research and development activity of new vaccine, drugs and medical devices in their normal course of business” will be eligible for CSR benefits for their R&D work related to such activities for Covid products, provided the work is “in collaboration with” any of the institutes or organisations mentioned in item (ix) of Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013. “Univs, labs should grasp these opportunities, set up collaborative programs for Covid-19 R&D, also get support for other areas,” tweeted Dr K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the government.
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