The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund, which was set up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, has received Rs 3,076 crore in just five days, according to a statement made public by the government.
“During 2019-20 (from 27th to 31st March, 2020), an amount of Rs 3076.62 crore has been collected under PM CARES Fund,” said the statement published on its website.
According to the audit statement, Rs 3,075.85 crore came from domestic voluntary contribution while Rs 39.67 lakh was foreign contribution. The fund, which had an initial corpus of Rs 2.25 lakh, has also received an interest of around Rs 35 lakh.
The government, however, has not disclosed the names of the domestic and foreign contributors, prompting the opposition to raise questions over the audit statements.
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram slammed the government for not revealing the names of donors and questioned “why are the trustees afraid” to do so.
“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 donee is known. The trustees of the donee are known. Why are the trustees afraid to reveal the names of the donors?,” he asked on Twitter.
The PM CARES fund was set up with an objective to undertake and support relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency.
The prime minister is the ex-officio chairman of the PM CARES Fund and minister of defence, minister of home affairs and minister of finance are ex-officio trustees of the Fund.
The chairman has the power to nominate three trustees to the Board of Trustees who would be eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy.
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