Allow CMRF to avail CSR funds, CM writes to Modi

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought an amendment in the Companies Act, 2013 so as to make it easier for public and private companies to make contribution to the Chief Minister’s Relief Funds (CMRFs) as part of their CSR activity.

“A specific provision for contribution to the State CMRFs may also be included in the Companies Act, 2013, similar to that appearing in item (IX) of its Schedule-VII, as an eligible CSR activity,” read the letter.

Section-135 of the Companies Act, 2013 and CSR Policy Rules, 2014 mandate that from April 1, 2014 every company with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or turnover of Rs 1000 crore or net profit of Rs 5 crore has to spend at least two per cent of its average net profit on CSR activities.

Item (IX) of Schedule-VII of the act mentions contribution to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund as a eligible activity under CSR. However, contribution to State CMRFs as an eligible activity is not included in the Schedule.

Patnaik informed that Odisha CMRF uses its funds for various pro-poor activities including assistance to family of poor deceased persons under the ‘Harischandra Sahayata Yojana’ for performance of last rites. The Odisha CMRF has also been providing relief to victims of natural calamities in other States and countries such as Jammu & Kashmir & Nepal.

Keeping in view the range of activities carried out by the Odisha government there is an urgent need to increase the funds for CMRF, his letter read.

“A number of eligible poor are still left unattended by the CMRF. In the above circumstances, it is pertinent to mention that the shortage of resources in CMRF can be addressed, to some extent, through the CSR fund of the public/private companies,” said Patnaik.