The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund was set on March 27 to raise funds to bolster the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi donated Rs 2.25 lakh from his personal savings towards the initial corpus of the PM Cares fund after it was set up in March. Media reports cited the annual audited statement of the PM Cares for 2019-20 which mentions an initial corpus of Rs 2.25 lakh.
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund was set on March 27 to raise funds to bolster the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
This is not the first time when PM Modi has made such a donation. He has a long legacy of contributing to public causes.
Before taking charge as Prime Minister in 2014, Modi had donated Rs 21 lakh from his personal savings for education of daughters of drivers and peons working with the Gujarat government. In 2018, after PM Modi was awarded the Seoul Peace Prize in South Korea, he had donated the entire prize money of Rs 1.3 crore for work on cleaning the Ganga. He also donated money raised in auctions of his mementoes towards different causes. In 2019, he had contributed Rs 21 lakh from his personal savings to a corpus fund for the welfare of sanitation workers at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.
Meanwhile, a report in The Indian Express said that the PM Cares fund received Rs 3,076.62 crore in just five days of its formation. It referred to the ‘receipt and payment account’ to claim that Rs 3,075.85 crore came as ‘voluntary contributions’ and Rs 39.67 lakh came as foreign contributions. It put the fund’s closing balance as on March 31, 2020, at Rs 3,076.62 crore.
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 its ex-officio trustees. The government had notified that contributions to the fund will be considered as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Earlier in August, the Supreme Court had refused to pass an order regarding transfer of money from PM Cares to NDRF and ruled that the fund is a public charitable trust and there cannot be an audit by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India.
The Congress and opposition parties have been attacking the Modi government over setting up of the PM Cares fund. The party has questioned the need for a separate fund when the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) is already in existence. The party has alleged misappropriation of the PM Cares fund and sought an audit.