PM CARES FUND
- April 26, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
PM CARES FUND
Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered setting up of 551 oxygen plants inside government hospitals across the country. PM CARES Fund will provide financial aid in setting up these plants.
- Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, or the PM CARES Fund, was set up to tackle distress situations such as that posed by the COVID19 pandemic.
- The fund receives voluntary contributions from individuals and organisations and does not get any budgetary support. Donations have been made tax exempt, and can be counted against a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- It is also exempt from the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, and accepts foreign contributions, although the Centre has previously refused foreign aid to deal with disasters such as the Kerala floods.
- The Prime Minister chairs the fund in his official capacity, and can nominate three eminent persons in relevant fields to the Board of Trustees. The Ministers of Defense, Home Affairs and Finance are ex officio Trustees of the Fund.
- It is not clear whether the fund comes under the ambit of the RTI Act or oversight by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, although independent auditors will audit the fund
- The PM CARES web page is opaque regarding the amount of money collected, names of donors, expenditure of the fund so far, or names of beneficiaries. The PMNRF provides annual donation and expenditure information without any detailed breakup.
- The PM CARES Fund’s trust deed is not available for public scrutiny.
- The decision to allow uncapped corporate donations to the fund to count as CSR expenditure, a facility not provided to PMNRF or the CM’s Relief Funds goes against previous guidelines stating that CSR should not be used to fund government schemes.
- A government panel had previously advised against allowing CSR contributions to the PMNRF on the grounds that the double benefit of tax exemption would be a “regressive incentive”