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India Inc can treat disaster relief as CSR

In the wake of the recent Kerala flood, several corporate houses and industry chambers have made representations to the government, seeking to know if money spent on rebuilding basic services in Kerala would be treated as CSR. Under Schedule 7, Section 135 of the Companies Act that outlines CSR guidelines, disaster relief is not included, however, the government has told that the companies can club relief material under heads such as medical aid, including preventive health care, sanitation and providing housing and shelter. Moreover, companies that are spending on relief material for flood-hit Kerala will be allowed to count this towards their mandatory 2% spending on corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives under the Companies Act, 2013.