File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government’s appeal to all employees of his ministries to contribute a day’s salary to PM CARES — a dedicated national fund to deal with any kind of emergency like Covid-19 — might be the need of the hour, but it is causing a lot of heartburn among administration officials.

Officials across several ministries ThePrint spoke to said that although the contributions are supposed to be voluntary and one can opt out, but the repeated reminders — subtle and at times not so subtle — from their seniors, asking them to contribute, is leaving them with no choice but to donate.

The latest circular issued by the Department of Revenue, which comes under the finance ministry, Friday, appealing to all officers and staff to “contribute their one day’s salary every month till March 2021 to the PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance & Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund to aid the government’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic” has added to the resentment of the employees.

The circular, seen by ThePrint, also stated: “Any officer or staff having objection to it may intimate drawing and disbursing officer, Department of Revenue in writing mentioning his/her employee code latest by 20.4.2020.”

A government official, who did not want to be identified, told ThePrint: “I know it’s a pandemic of a scale we have never seen. And massive funds are required. But asking employees to contribute a day’s salary every month till a year? Also, I might want to contribute to some other charity organisation working in Delhi or elsewhere. Why do I have to contribute only to PM CARES?”

Ministries, which are yet to contribute, have also reached out to their staff with an appeal to contribute a day’s salary (for the month of April) to the PM CARES Fund, after they received a fresh direction from the cabinet secretariat in this regard earlier this week.


Also read: IAS, IPS officers say 50-70% pay cuts are mere optics, unnecessary and will hit morale

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‘It’s unprecedented’

Another government official, who did not want to be named, told ThePrint that while it’s a normal practice to ask government staff to contribute after some calamity, the circular asking to contribute a day’s salary every month for a year, specifically to PM CARES Fund, is “unprecedented.”

“For the IAS and other senior officers it might not be a big deal. But it is not the same for junior staff. Though the circular says the donations are voluntary but which employee will risk being identified as someone who has not contributed,” said an official in one of the infrastructure ministries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the setting up of the PM CARES Fund on 28 March to invite donations from citizens to tackle the pandemic.

ThePrint had reported on 4 April that donations to the fund from individuals, celebrities, public and private organisations, corporates, public sector undertakings, among others, had crossed over Rs 6,500 crore.


Also read: Donations to PM CARES allowed under CSR, but not to states or CMs: Corporate ministry 


WhatApp reminders

In some ministries, like the railways, senior officers of the rank of principal financial advisers have been directed to monitor who all are contributing.

“Though the official circular says contributions are voluntary, senior officers are telling their subordinates to contribute,” said a railway ministry official.

The Railway Board also issued a circular on 31 March, stating: “… board (Railway Board) desires that an appeal should be made to each one of the railway servants to generously contribute to PMCF (PM CARES FUND) by donating at least one day’s basic pay towards this cause.”

This is not all.

An official in one of the social sector ministries said that employees are even getting messages on WhatsApp in their respective ministry’s group, reminding them to contribute to the fund.

“There is a kind of persistence, asking employees to contribute,” the official added.  

Sources said that several ministries, including skill, human resource development, shipping, information and broadcasting, and housing, have already completed the process of donating to the fund.  

PM Modi is the ex-officio chairman of the fund, which has been set up as a trust.

The other three trustees are the ministers of defence, home and finance. The trust will also have three eminent people from the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy — all of them will be nominated by the PM.

All ministers in Modi cabinet donated

The setting up of the fund has come under a lot of flak from the opposition Congress, which has questioned the need to set it up when the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is already in place. 

Earlier this month, PM Modi, all MPs, ministers and even the President decided to take a 30 per cent pay cut for a year, starting 1 April, to help the government handle the pandemic.

Almost all ministers in the Modi cabinet have already contributed to the fund.

Besides, 339 MPs from both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have contributed Rs 365 crore from their MPLADS to a central pool to tackle the outbreak, which is likely to go to PM CARES.

The MPLAD Fund has been suspended by the government earlier this month for two years (2020-2022).


Also read: How BJP workers can ensure party collects Rs 73,800 crore for PM-CARES


 

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48 Comments Share Your Views

48 COMMENTS

  1. PM Cares must have some opposition / outsider from ruling party for the transparency.
    Government employees could easyly forced for donations. Transfer exercises,promotions and not to be mentioned in bad list of boss are the reasons only. The boss has to collect the amount and hand it over to the trust. The boss too needs a good relationship with higher authority for further in their currier, So, no doubt they will take it as a traget and make it as question of prestige.
    Distribution system is always questionable in India. It is not clear that how the money will flow to the states and grass route lavel. How State government get relief fund ?
    when fund will flow from PMcares, all the political benefit will only come to Modiji. ‘Ek teer se kai nishane’. Bholi bhali janta, at least ask for some tranperency to avoid some kind of ‘GHOTALA’

  2. Being Central government employee and getting everything on time. I don’t have any objection in duduction of one day salary for PM CARES which is actually to fight against COVID -19 and I am hundred percent sure no one is pressurised by any senior officer to contribute compulsorily.
    Regards

  3. media is not raising objection for the donation , he is raising why to pmcare only . Bhakts why you are not asking simultaneously for the daily expense from pmcare . why till now from this contribution poors are not getting food sufficiently specially in mumbai delhi up bihar where migrant labour are more .
    SPEnd properly and URGENLY, if it is finish so many people are in our country they will collect for you .

  4. Normally, this is done by encashing a day’s salary for the contribution. As far as staff is concerned, there is no cash outflow for the employee, while on the other hand the employer treats it as a legitimate expense and the Government gets cash. A win-win situation for all. I don’t know what the objection is all about.

  5. Modiji if you just hadn’t messed up the economy we could have been better of to fight the pandemic u just messed up big time we are facing the consequences

  6. There has been 20,000 crores allocated to redesigning the central vista which includes a new luxury house for prime minister. What is the need for this shameless wastage of public money. Why not divert that fund to fight the pandemic? And when there is already prime minister national relief fund, what is the need for prime minister care fund. Probably because in natural relief fund opposition is involved do that there is no misuse, but it will not be involved with care fund.

    • FALSE – Central Vista Project involves redesign of Govt OFFICES and Parliament House. No “”new luxury house”” is being built. That is FAKE NEWS.

      • You are fake news. From all replies of yours , it is clear you are from bjp or modi bhakt.
        The central vista project involves designing new home for prime minister.
        Also there is no dire need of redevelopment of all government offices when common people are suffering.
        The country and it’s people are dying, the neo is happy celebrating.
        Disgusting.

  7. I had submitted unwillingness for deduction of 02 day basic pay still it has been intimated by letter to me that your unwillingness was not considered.

    • Why will they reply that your unwillingness was “”not”” considered ? You have said you don’t want to contribute – they have noted it. The reply will be if you get your full salary . Nobody sends a note saying “”your unwillingness is not considered”” – that makes no sense .

  8. I do not see a reason why they should object? The central Govt is not deducting salaries unlike other state governments. They should contribute voluntarily. It should not be made a news !

  9. One day salary is just 3 percent. In private companies people are looking their jobs. If govt employees contribute just 3 percent for a year is it a big deal? And, the author thinks it is a very important topic to pen about and create dissension. Despicable journalism.

  10. Gobarbhakts will be silent on this news. I wonder if they would call these modi govt officials part of an al-Qaeda conspiracy. Mahua Moitra was right after all. We are living in a brutal authoritarian regime. This is an undeclared emergency.

    • What are you saying? There have been 1 day salary contributions during disasters from Government employees since time of Independence and even pre-independence. Educate yourself.

  11. Our prime minister Narendra Modi has good vision to fight against corona but our administration is not following the instructions of prime minister.
    Now the situation is that the persons at home will also get infected because their family members who are working with state government. Work from home not followed at all. Senior officers are working from home but juniors are called day and night in office by threatening of job loss or suspension.

  12. Morons…its always been like that whenever national tragedy or even local tragedy has happened…you r just there to break the country…cannt wait for your media to be banned from my nation….

  13. Plz share the said circular in which the above news claims to be true!
    As there is no circular is available on Ministries website.

  14. I see nothing wrong in it. One days salary per month for 12 months is nothing to most of these so called entitled ahankari sarkaari officials, who enjoy life time employment despite of non performance or lack of tangible productivity, regular DA hikes, govt funded perks and perquisites, etc…They forget that their salaries come from taxes collected from the hardworking and tax paying citizens and businesses, most of which are now shut and staring at a bleak future…

    Do they realise and genuinely emphasise and do something when we the common man feel irked when they shamelessly ask bribes for doing and discharging their duties for the salaries they earn. Hell no! They don’t even feel ashamed to take a bribe and gifts, e in fact they treat is as their constitutional right …

    Stop emphatising. They don’t see an opportunity to misuse these funds that’s why they are all cribbing and ranting privately… Let them openly reveal their dissatisfaction and face the ire of transfers like brave honest officers do….

  15. Why govt should behave like an NGO baffles me Why pm cares fund etc. Special situations call for special measures. If required they should go for pay cuts .

    • This is not plain ‘asking’. This is pestering and monitoring like big boss. This is hafta wasooli. Same with the diya/thaali ruckus. Those wo didn’t participate were beaten and threatened by modibhakt neighbours.

      • What nonsense – Govt asking is not “”pestering”” – and of course the boss will collect it and send it as it is his responsibility to collect donations from his division. Calling it hafta is shameful on your part – they are not asking for themselves. They are asking so you and your family don’t starve and die.

        FYI – the Govt of India need not pay full salary if it deems there is an emergency – they can FIRE you and close down Govt offices to save money and cut expenses. Do you PREFER UNEMPLOYMENT ?

  16. In paragraph 4 you quote “A government official, who did not want to be identified, told ThePrint:…”.

    Really?

    The other day, BBC quoted “2 unnamed doctors from unnamed hospitals”.

    Third rate journalism at its best.

    • They don’t want to be identified because they don’t want to be labelled “anti-national” or “tukde-tukde” gang. Worse, they don’t want to get murdered or lose their jobs.

      • Why will they be “”murdered”” ? Is it standard practice for Govt to murder people who say they don’t want to donate 1 day salary?? How many such murders have taken place ?? Also, if they are speaking the truth, they can go to court if they lose their job for speaking the truth . Both your excuses are bogus.

        They don’t want to be identified – because they don’t exist and even if they are genuine they can say anything without any accountability . They want to hide the fact that they are liars and cowards.

        For some people being anti-Modi means being Anti-India – it is shameful and disgraceful.

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