PM CARES fund has been set up specially to mop up resources to fund efforts to mitigate coronavirus crisis.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has demanded an audit of the PM CARES fund set up by the Central government for receiving donations to aid in government’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in the country and other crises of similar magnitude in the future.
PM CARES fund was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March and it invites donations from individuals and institutions. Rahul says it has received huge contributions even from public sector units like the Railways and should, therefore, be open for audits and a public disclosure for the sake of transparency.
“The #PmCares fund has received huge contributions from PSUs & major public utilities like the Railways. It’s important that PM ensures the fund is audited & that the record of money received and spent is available to the public,” Rahul said on Saturday.
Railways minister Piyush Goyal was quoted in reports pledging Rs 151 crore to the PM CARES fund in the last week of March this year. The fund has also received several hundred crores of rupees in donation from other contributors—both in the public and the private sector. All BJP MPs have also donated Rs 1 crore each from their annual development fund along with a month’s salary.
PM-CARES or Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund was announced in the month of March and the PM said it is meant to further strengthen India’s disaster management capacities and encourage research on technologies to protect citizens from disasters such as the one brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister has been made the Chairman of this trust and its members include the Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.
The Congress party raised questions over setting up of the fund in the past as well and has demanded to know why it could not be merged with the PM National Relief Fund.
Earlier this month, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had demanded an audit of the fund alleging an official circular in Uttar Pradesh was asking everyone to donate Rs 100 towards it.
“ A suggestion: When the common people are distressed, there is a shortage of ration, water and money and the government machinery is extracting Rs 100 from everyone for donations to PM CARES, then it would be appropriate from every perspective to have the fund audited,” Priyanka tweeted on May 2, while referring to an alleged order from the district administration in Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh to collect Rs 100 from individuals as donations to the PM CARES fund