COVID-19: Companies can spend CSR to fight virus; Finance Bill passed without debate


The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Finance Bill without a debate; which also gave the option to companies to spend their CSR funds on tackling the COVID-19.

Claims of the opposition leaders asking for a specific package to fight the slowdown in the economy due to the effects of the COVID-19 weren’t addressed by the Union Finance Minister.

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The bill was moved for passage in the House by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and was passed without discussion.

Speaker of the Lok Sabha announced that the Bill was passed after the leaders agreed to the bill without debate.

On the other hand, the government announced that funds spent by companies to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will be eligible to be classified as corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

The funds are broad-based and may be interpreted liberally for this purpose, said the ministry.

Amongst other provisions of the Bill, a next Income Tax regime was announced, which was part of the Budget provisions.

The reduction of Corporate tax to 15% which was announced earlier last year has now been extended to even electricity providers.

The Finance Bill has been passed at a time when the economy is experiencing a slowdown. This is a Finance Bill of the first class and hence needs to be passed in the Rajya Sabha.

The Constitutional mandate has been filled with the passage of the bill.

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