- PM-CARES received more than Rs 3,000 crore in 5 days
- P Chidambaram has asked why are they not revealing the names of the donors
- Audit statement of PM-CARES was made public by the government
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) for the novel Coronavirus received Rs 3,076 crore in just 5 days according to the audit statemenyt made public by the Government of India.
The statement for the Financial Year 2020 only records donations made between 27th of March 2020 (the date the Fund was established) and 31st March 2020.
The statement showed that out of those Rs 3,076 crore, Rs 3,075.85 crore came from the domestic voluntary contributions Rs 39.67 lakh came from foreign contributions.
The statement also said that PM-CARES had an initial corpus of Rs 2.25 lakh and the funds have received an interest of almost Rs 35 lakhs.
The audit statement was uploaded on the PM-CARES fund website, however, the “accompanying notes 1 to 6” in the statement were not made available to the public. This means all the details of both domestic and foreign contributors or donors have also not been disclosed by the government. Former Finance Minister of India P Chidambaram questions this in a series of tweets asking why the names of “these generous donors” were not revealed. “Why? Every other NGO or Trust is obliged to reveal the names of donors contributing more than a threshold amount. Why is the PM CARES FUND exempt from this obligation,” he asked the government.
But the names of these generous donors will not be revealed. Why?— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 2, 2020
Every other NGO or Trust is obliged to reveal the names of donors contributing more than a threshold amount. Why is the PM CARES FUND exempt from this obligation?
The 74 year old senior Congress leader also said, “The donee is known. The trustees of the donee are known. Why are the trustees afraid to reveal the names of the donors?”
The donee is known. The trustees of the donee are known. Why are the trustees afraid to reveal the names of the donors?— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 2, 2020
Earlier, in August, the Supreme Court of India said that the money collected under the PM-CARES Fund for combating the novel Coronavirus need not be transferred to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
The top court said that the funds which have been collected by the PM-CARES Fund are those of charitable trusts and “entirely different”.
The government is free to transfer money to the disaster response fund if it feels it is appropriate to do so, the Supreme Court said.
The PM-CARES Fund was set up by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on 27th of March to “deal with emergency or distress situations like the coronavirus pandemic”.
It is managed by a trust with PM Modi as its chairperson and senior cabinet members as the trustees.
In June, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) rejected an RTI (Right To Information) application which was filed by a leading news agency in India, seeking details of the PM-CARES Fund, including the trust deed, stating that the “Fund is not a public authority under RTI Act”.
However, the audit statement has been signed by PMO officials on behalf of PM-CARES.
The audit statement was signed by the Joint Secretary in the PMO, Shrikar K Pardeshi, on behalf of PM-CARES Fund as “Secretary” while Gujarat cadre IAS Officer Hardik Shah, the Private Secretary to PM Modi, has signed the statement as the Deputy Secretary of the Fund.