CII Proposes Additional 1% CSR For Booster Shots

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New Delhi: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has said that they are ready to contribute an additional 1 per cent over and above 2 per cent corporate social responsibility (CSR) levy for the national vaccination mission.

The national industry body has suggested the government to charge an extra 1 per cent in the upcoming Union Budget for a period of one year in order to encourage companies to spend on Covid-19 booster dose.

The CII in its recommendations has further urged the state governments to lift curbs on economic activity, as the occupancy rate of hospital beds due to the Omicron variant of Covid is well within the manageable level.

According to CII, the Union Budget, coming during the third wave of the pandemic, is expected to focus on measures for strengthening economic recovery.

CII President TV Narendran said, “We recommend an additional 1 per cent be added to CSR requirements in the Budget, for a specified period of 12 months, so that boosters can be made available to all age-groups. In fact, our recommendation has been that if companies spend on vaccines for their employees, their families and members of the community, then that expense can be set off against this additional CSR spend.”

Narendran said, “Hospitalisation rates in the present wave stand at manageable levels and therefore, the industry feels that Covid-related restrictions can be removed to enable the robust recovery process to continue. Our earlier recommendations in this regard found favor with the government and we are thankful to the prime minister for it. CII has written to chief ministers to consider curbs at micro containment zones only when hospitalization rates are over 75 per cent. With a lower level of hospitalisations seen in the Omicron variant, it is possible to maintain normal economic activities and protect lives and livelihoods.”

With regard to investment revival, the CII president said, “The investments under National Infrastructure Pipeline and Gati Shakti program must be fast-tracked and it is expected that the Budget would provide for this. These activities will be dampened if curbs on economic activity were to continue.”

CII has written to state chief ministers with suggestions regarding the level of curbs on markets and factories.

The industry body has also requested the government for fast-tracking of imports of all internationally approved mRNA and protein-based vaccines at a price to be determined by the government. This would open up booster shots to all sections of society.

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