Kiran Mazumdar Shaw asks government to use CSR funds to vaccinate employees against COVID-19

In an interview with Money Control, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson of Biocon told that she has asked the government to allow corporates to vaccinate their employees by using the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said, “The suggestion will result in less burden on the government and country’s economy.”


The government is trying to get a measure of the exact cost to vaccinate the entire country and getting the logistics and supply chain in place to administer the vaccine, and her suggestion could be a gift to the government. It is estimated that it could cost a minimum of Rs 50,000 crore to vaccinate the country

Currently, corporates with a net worth of Rs 500 crore, or revenues exceeding Rs 1,000 crore, or net profit over Rs 5 crore, have to set aside two percent of their average profit over the last three years on CSR programs.

According to KPMG, Indian corporates have spent Rs 8,691 crore in FY19 on CSR. And firms with a net worth of Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 crore have set aside 2% of their profit on CSR programs.

While there is no specific tax exemption on expenditure incurred on CSR, spending on several activities, including preventive health, may qualify.

Money Control reported in their interview with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, that in addition, the private sector can support the government in logistics, given their vast experience in handling cold-chain products such as human insulins and other biologic drugs.

Mazumdar Shaw said, “Her company is focussing on its core business, and contract manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines may not be its priority, but added that Biocon’s subsidiary Syngene has been working with international biotech companies on developing vaccines for COVID-19 in early stages, including advanced platform technologies such as Messenger RNA (mRNA).”

Shaw commented, “COVID-19 has created a level-playing field for innovation and research, and the Indian government is aware of it and is taking steps to invest in the R&D of vaccines and raise the standards of clinical research in the country.

Biocon Limited is an Indian biopharmaceutical company based in Bangalore, India. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is the founder. The company manufactures generic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that are sold in over 120 countries across the globe, including the developed markets of the United States and Europe. It also manufactures novel biologics, as well as, biosimilar insulins and antibodies, which are sold in India as branded formulations. Biocon’s biosimilar products are also sold in both bulk and formulation forms in several emerging markets. In research services, Syngene International Limited (Syngene), a publicly listed subsidiary of Biocon.