New Delhi: Congress leader Anand Sharma on Monday said that the government has decided that donations to the PM-CARES Fund by industry would also be counted as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure and the provision should be extended to the relief fund of chief ministers as well.
Addressing a press conference here through video-conferencing, Sharma said that the Centre should not "discriminate" with the States.
He said the contributions for PM-CARES Fund should go into the National Relief Fund, which has been in existence since 1948. Sharma said that there is a CAG audit of the National Relief Fund and the report is presented to Parliament.
He said it has been decided that donations to the PM-CARES Fund will also qualify to be counted as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure under the Companies Act, 2013.
"This is not just as there is relief fund of Chief Ministers and CSR fund should be accepted there also," he said.
"Otherwise it would be unfair to the Chief Ministers and the States. It would be discriminatory. It should be left to the industries in the states to make their contribution to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund or the PM Fund or the Chief Minister's fund," he added.
Sharma said there was a need to work with coordination with the State governments at every step in the battle against coronavirus.
Seeking relief measures for MSMEs and some other sectors and sections, Sharma said the government should not be concerned about fiscal deficit and inflation considerations should be "put in abeyance for one year."
"These are extraordinary times. It is an extraordinary challenge, which requires extraordinary response from the government. That is why the package has to be expanded to ensure that Indian economy does not collapse," he said.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.