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: Indians across sections — ordinary individuals, celebrities, government officials, private sector professionals and conglomerates — seem to be loosening their purse strings like never before in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Barely a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced setting up of the PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance & Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund on 28 March, donations pledged to it have crossed over Rs 6,500 crore, ThePrint has learnt.

This is three times more than the combined public donation of Rs 2,119 crore received in the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) between 2014-15 and 2018-19, a perusal of the fund’s receipts and payment accounts show. The total expenditure from PMNRF during this period was Rs 1,594.87 crore.

The overall corpus of PMNRF, since it was established in 1948, stands at Rs 3,800 crore.

The PMNRF is used to provide immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones, earthquakes, victims of major accidents and riots. PM CARES, on the other hand, is a dedicated national fund to deal with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like the Covid-19 outbreak.

While some of the bigger donations to PM CARES have come from India Inc. and government organisations, including Rs 1,500 crore by the Tata Group, Rs 1,000 crore by the Azim Premji Foundation, Rs 500 crore collectively by the Army, Navy and Air Force, defence PSUs and employees of defence ministry, there have also been innumerable smaller contributions by individuals too.

The minimum donation one can make in PMNRF is Rs 100 while PM CARES accepts micro donations as low as Rs 10. Both PMNRF and PM CARES are charitable public trust and can also accept foreign donations.


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


‘PM CARES should have a national character like PMNRF’

The PM CARES fund has come under a lot of flak from the Congress, which has questioned the need for its inception when the PMNRF is already there.

Set up by India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru in 1948, the PMNRF is managed by a committee consisting of the prime minister, president of Indian National Congress, the deputy prime minister, finance minister, a representative of the Tata Trust and another representative of industry to be chosen by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The BJP has now blamed the Opposition for “politicising” the matter because the Congress president is not part of the PM CARES fund.

“These things (whether the Congress president is a member or not) does not matter. Somehow Congress ends up politicising everything. The party should instead tell what all they are doing to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. The PM has set up the fund to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in a very targeted way. That is the need of the hour instead of playing politics over it,” said BJP’s National Spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Khan.

But the Congress said the fund should have representation from other parties too since it was a national project.

“PM CARES has a very ad-hoc arrangement and that is what we are objecting to. It’s a national fund and has to have representation from other national parties as well as the states. It does not have to be Congress or any particular party,” senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily told ThePrint.

Moily also said PM CARES should be renamed as the “national fund”.

Soon after the fund was announced, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had also questioned the need for creating a separate public charitable trust whose rules and expenditure are “totally opaque”. He sought an explanation from PM Modi for this “highly unusual step”.

Senior government officials ThePrint spoke to said though anyone contributing to the PM CARES will get full benefits under the Income Tax Act just as it is in the case of PMNRF, the former is more broad based.

“Besides being used to provide relief during any public health emergency or natural calamity, funds from PM CARES can also be utilised to support research. For instance, in the present situation it can be used to fund relevant research related to Covid-19,” an official said on anonymity.

Unlike PMNRF, PM CARES can also be used for ramping up healthcare or pharmaceutical infrastructure in the country, the official added.

While PM Narendra Modi is the ex-officio chairman of PM CARES, other trustees of the fund include the ministers of defence, home and finance.

The trust will also have three eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy — all of whom will be nominated by the PM.

These three trustees have not yet been nominated, multiple sources in the government told ThePrint.


Also read: Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa donates annual salary to Covid-19 relief fund


MPs can contribute funds from MPLAD to PM CARES

PM CARES has also expanded the categories of donors who can contribute to it, said sources.

“For instance, Members of Parliament can make donations from MPLADS to the fund. So can PSUs. PMNRF does not allow any contributions where funds go from the government budget,” said a second source.

So far, 339 MPs from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have contributed Rs 365 crore from their MPLADS to a central pool to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak, which is likely to go to the PM CARES.

However, there is no clarity on whether, like PMNRF, PM CARES will be kept out of the ambit of CAG audit. “One will have to see the rules for operationalising the funds. It’s not clear right now,” the second source quoted above added.


Also read: Modi govt needs to open the JAM for public contributions. PM Care alone can’t deliver


 

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41 Comments Share Your Views

41 COMMENTS

  1. Now there is huge fund to fight with corona virus .I think approximately 10000 crore Rs deposited in PM funds.If goverment want to care about people then do only one thing,our indian population is 135 crore then send 1 crore per each person in their bank account. Then any problem comes to poor & middle class people.

  2. I respect our P.M and proud we have Person like him. But i have doubt on government, the donation collection says 6500 cr of rupees. And many people are struck in diffrent places. Why our govt is not taking step to accomodate or send them to their distination. Government has recently send the flight to many countries for the people who is struck and stranded but govt has charging double the price of the flight ticket to them and also qurantine money minimum 25k per head. Why not govt is helping them even after getting huge funds from evry where.

  3. I respect our P.M and proud we have Person like him. But i have doubt on government, the donation collection says 6500 cr of rupees. And many people are struck in diffrent places. Why our govt is not taking step to accomodate or send them to their distination. Government has recently send the flight to many countries for the people who is struck and stranded but govt has charging double the price of the flight ticket to them and also qurantine money minimum 25k per head. Why not govt is helping them even after getting huge funds from evry where.

  4. I appriciate our pm who is real hero of our nation to handle this pandamic situation of Covid-19 ,i also salute them (CORONA VARRIERS) who help those who is suffering from lot of problems of lockdown💐👏👏👏

  5. You are free to say anything but I think we Indians let’s see what happens when most of the countries are in panic situations, Indian proof themselves with a dynamic leadership.

  6. It’s good to give a fund for helping people but I ask a question .where are those funding which is taken only for helping people .still people gets food from our citizens … I ask one police man that from where you are getting a food for distribution to needy people … They say food are providing by a business man .people and temples,gurudwara etc. I think more than 10000 crore fund are collected and still people are not getting a benefit of that funds .. shame

  7. Modi g had done a great job for India…………no other party or person can have this capability to perform this type of responsibility……….I salute Modiji.by heart…

    • Congress leader Sonia gandhiji have taken all responsibility of tickets fare of migrate our poor Indian people.. Salute for this great job.

  8. Modi g had done a great jod for India…………no other party or person can have this capability to perform this type of responsibility……….I salute MODI JI….by heart…

  9. It is professional game of modi shah … to create corpus through public money. The Indian economy was in girth after demonatization and GST. Modi and Shah are game planner to divert fund in BJP account on the name of Corona. Why there is need to divert CSR budget, Interest curtailment etc. It just game planned in professional way.

    Following question needs to be address.
    1) is modi successful in creating employment for youth?
    2) After lockdown many people loosing jobs… Further increase unemployment problem.
    3) Just by secrufying life out of 130 M population by Corona at least country economy would be inversely manageble.
    Hence
    4) The unemployment will influence offence, loot theft etc.
    5) Lock down is not imposed by emotionally by blackmailing Indian citizen for Hidden goal.

      • Where are the funds used yet??? Any idea????

        Y does it not come under audit???

        Anyways it’s not good to ask questions to PPL in power right?

  10. I support establishment of PMCare Fund. Since our Independence one member of a single family were the member of PMNRF . This strategy should be changed and it has been done. As if there was none other in India who can take decisions regarding India’s future. What a putty, now the below IQ dependents of this family want to control PM FUND. And the chamchass of them are making chaos over the issue.

  11. All the citizens of India are Indians first and being elder in the family you can scold or punish the ill doing youngsters but can’t think of excluding them from family.

    This is the message of India to the world. Only India can bring the change in the world.

  12. समर्पण राशि को रोजाना अपडेट करन चाहिए जिसमे खर्च ओर जमा राशि दोनों ।ताकि लोगो मे इसको ओर बढ़ाने का जोश आये ।

  13. Ma’am,

    Please confirm if PMNRF is still managed by a committee consisting of the prime minister, president of Indian National Congress, the deputy prime minister, finance minister, a representative of the Tata Trust and another representative of industry to be chosen by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry?? The PMNRF website does not mention this anywhere. In fact it says that “The Prime Minister heads the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund” &” The disbursement out of the fund is made at the discretion of the Prime Minister, and in accordance with the Prime Minister’s directions”.

    Also interestingly, from the Payment & Receipt account available on PMNRF website it is noticed that since FY 2016-17 investments have been made in risky Tier II Perpetual Bonds. Wonder whether these Perpetual Bonds investments from an EMERGENCY FUND become Illiquid and Unreedemable (like the Yes Bank Perpetual Bonds) AND which is the main reason for starting PM Cares in a rush, so that the bad investments dont come to light.

  14. To honourable PM,

    SIR!

    In these times of crisis it’s a humble request to you &your team to please ensure 100% testing

    Through rapid kits in each & every nook & corner of HOT SPOTS throughout the country ! We have indigenous kits giving results within 15 minutes pl promote motivate inspire such

    Pathology labs rather than levying price tag on them! On the contrary special incentives ought to be granted!!

    In accordance with the honourable SUPREME COURT’s decision to make it completely free of cost in order to ensure cent% participation by the citizens.

    JAI HIND

    DUSHYANT KHONA

    9820291111

    MUMBAI

  15. I saw most of the donatees belongs to Hindus who are not only giving donation, but also following lockdown. However Jamatis spreading the covid 19 whole India and our PM care fund,s big portion is spent to take care of these Jamatis
    Is this a justice? Why government is not taking any action against them and why government spend pmcare fund to save these Jamatis?

  16. Azim premji foundation trust will spend 1000 cr for corona related humanitarian cause using their 1600 trust staff. Thus this fund is not part of pmscare fund.

  17. Apart from the politicians, for all such social cause funds, government should nominate persons who are Ratnas of our society. That is, a person who is undisputed master of his field and has dedicated his life for social cause to monitor such funds.

  18. Tata sons 1000cr and tata trust 500 cr both of this amount is jot donated to pm care fund. Tata trust and tata sons is gearing up on their own and taking various measures to fight the covid 19.

  19. We hope Hon’ble PM should disclose the clear picture of this PMCARES Fund’s Financial activities to the nation every year and allow the common public to get any information under the Right to Information Act.

  20. There should be complete transparency as to where the fund is utilised,
    and there should be members from opposition parties too so that they keep each other in check

  21. Your detail that pmnrf being managed by committee comprising president of INC is imacurate as that system was changed in 1985. Now it is utilised at sole discretion of the PM. Please update the article.

  22. Nehru Gandhi dynasty has enslaved all the institutions of this country. It will take some time to get rid from this malaise.
    PM CARES will attract more donations as people have immense faith in Modi

  23. The PM Cares is more specific and targets a broad spectrum of donors.
    PMNRF has become defunct and lacks inspiration.
    PM Cares can also be used to fund research which is the need of this pandemic Covid19.

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