The government expects businesses to complement its vaccination drive using their CSR funds. Indian companies spend around Rs18,000 crore a year on CSR activities
NEW DELHI: Businesses could use e-RUPI vouchers, a new contact-less payment method rolled out by the National Payment Corp. of India (NPCI), as an effective and transparent way of spending their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds for community vaccination, ministry of corporate affairs has said in a communication to businesses.
This digital payment system was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2 August as an alternative payment mode which ensures that financial aid, whether state benefits or charity by individuals and organisations-, given to beneficiaries will be used only for the intended purpose.
Corporate affairs ministry secretary Rajesh Verma urged businesses, in the communication posted on the ministry’s website, to adopt this for community vaccination using their CSR funds. One advantage of this is that the funds spent for vaccination—vouchers given to people which are monetised by the vaccine provider at the time of vaccination—ushers in a lot of openness in the way CSR funds are used.
The ministry had earlier clarified that CSR funds could be used for vaccination of persons other than employees and their families. At present, use of e-Rupi vouchers for CSR spending is optional.
“The launch of e-RUPI has given a new opportunity to utilise the digital payment platform for administering the Covid-19 vaccine to intended beneficiaries in a transparent and effective manner," Verma said in his appeal.
“I would like to appeal to you to take advantage of these digital vouchers for Covid-19 vaccination under CSR to persons other than the employees and their families," said Verma. This shows a gentle nudge by the government to popularise this payment method.
The e-RUPI payment system sends funds to a beneficiary’s mobile phone for a specific purpose in the form of a quick response code or a short message service (SMS) based e-voucher. This can be used to purchase specified goods or service.
The government expects businesses to complement its vaccination drive using their CSR funds. Indian companies spend around ₹18,000 crores a year on CSR activities. Effective January this year, monetary penalty has been introduced for defaults on CSR obligation.