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Explained: What is the PM-Cares Fund for Fighting Coronavirus Pandemic


Last Updated: April 03, 2020, 17:26 IST

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals and organisations and does not get any budgetary support.

New Delhi: Earlier this week, the government launched a separate Prime Minister’s emergency fund to secure donations for its fight against Covid-19. Here is all you need to know about it:

[q]What is the PM-Cares fund?[/q]

[ans]Keeping in mind the need for a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like that posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, a public charitable trust under the name of ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund)’ has been set up.[/ans]

[q]How is it different from PMNRF?[/q]

[ans]Since 1985 when Rajiv Gandhi was the PM, the management of the PMNRF fund was entrusted entirely with the Prime Minister. Since then, the PM has had the sole discretion of appointing a secretary to manage the fund. No separate office or staff is allocated for managing PMNRF. Under this fund, the criterion for disbursement of money and selection of beneficiaries is purely at the ‘discretion of the PM and in accordance with the PM’s directions.’

PM CARES, however, now delegates that power of deliberation and decision making to three other ministers of the government. As chairman of the PM CARES trust, Modi still has the responsibility of sanctioning and approving his ministers’ recommendations; but unlike PMNRF, he is not the proverbial ‘judge, jury and executioner.’

While the modalities and operational framework of PM CARES are yet unknown, PMNRF over the years has not been allowed to be audited by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. The vetting of PMNRF’s account has been done by third party auditors till date.[/ans]

[q]Who are members of the PM CARES trust?[/q]

[ans]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, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.

The chairperson of the board of trustees shall have the power to nominate three trustees to the board who shall be eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy.

Any person appointed a trustee shall act in a pro-bono capacity.[/ans]

[q]What will the funds be used for?[/q]

[ans]To undertake and support relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency or any other kind of emergency, calamity or distress, either man-made or natural.

To render financial assistance, provide grants of payments of money or take such other steps as may be deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees to the affected population.[/ans]

[q]Where does the money come from?[/q]

[ans]The fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals and organizations and does not get any budgetary support.[/ans]

[q]How can you contribute to the fund?[/q]

[ans]Donations can be made via debit and credit cards, internet banking, UPI, RTGS, or NEFT.

Account to account transfers can be made using the following details:

Name of the Account: PM CARES

Account Number: 2121PM20202

IFSC Code: SBIN0000691


Name of Bank & Branch: State Bank of India, New Delhi Main Branch

You can also make a donation through your UPI ID - BHIM, PhonePe, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Paytm, Mobikwik - works for the donation, UPI ID: pmcares@sbi[/ans]

[q]Will you get any benefits if you contribute to the fund?[/q]

[ans]Donations to PM CARES fund would qualify for 80G benefits for 100 per cent exemption under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Donations to PM CARES fund will also qualify to be counted as corporate social responsibility expenditure under the Companies Act, 2013.[/ans]

[q]What was the controversy on foreign donations?[/q]

[ans]PM CARES fund has also got exemption under the FCRA and a separate account for receiving foreign donations has been opened and it will be made operational soon. This will enable PM CARES Fund to accept donations and contributions from individuals and organizations based in foreign countries. This is consistent with respect to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). PMNRF has also received foreign contributions as a public trust since 2011.[/ans]
first published:April 03, 2020, 17:26 IST
last updated:April 03, 2020, 17:26 IST