At a time when the country is defending itself internally from Covid-19 and externally from military standoffs at its international borders, the armed forces are playing a pivotal role in ensuring national safety and integrity.
Acknowledging the contribution made by the armed forces amid such adversities and the need to motivate both – the armed forces personnel, as well as the people and organizations which are offering aid to those employed in the forces and their families, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, has decided to widen the ambit of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
As per a recent announcement, the MCA has decided to include contributions towards the Central Para Military Forces (CPMF) and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) veterans and their dependents, within the definition of CSR activities. The dependents receiving the aid include widows of the armed forces personnel.
Prior to the notification, the scope of CSR activities was restricted to the initiatives benefitting the navy, army, and air force veterans, their dependents, and war widows. The new inclusions are expected to bring a large number of beneficiaries into the fold.
As brought forth by a parliamentary discussion from last year, the war widows and armed forces category of CSR has received a sum of Rs 81 crore since 2014-15. The recent notification issued by the MCA is expected to increase this amount.
However, owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the beneficiaries might not receive immediate benefits during the current fiscal. A report by Crisil revealed that nearly 80 percent of CSR funds for the current fiscal has already been pledged to combat the adverse impact of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, in the time to come, several families of CPMF and CAPF veterans are going to receive substantial aid owing to the change in CSR definition.