I have been receiving several queries regarding the ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations‘ (PM CARES) Fund, related to its Constitution, Objective and Requirement and a reason why ‘Prime Minister National Relief Fund’ (PMNRF) has not been used for relief (spending) related to COVID19 and what is the need for a specialised fund like PM CARES when PMNRF was already there in India.
I have gone through the official statement related to the PM CARES Fund (link attached below for ready reference) by the Government of India and based on my understanding, I am answering the specific queries below:-
Query 1 : Is this fund a Nationalised Fund or Not?
Reply : Yes this is a National Fund. The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 prevents the use of name ‘Prime Minister’ or ‘PM’ by any person other than the Government of India.
Query 2 : What is the Constitution of PM CARES Fund?
Reply : PM CARES is a Public Charitable Trust similar as PMNRF.
Query 3 : Is the Post of Chairman of PM CARES Fund is reserved for the Prime Minister of India (ex-officio) or Hon’ble Sh. Narendra Modi Ji is Chairman of PM CARES in his personal Capacity?
Reply : The Prime Minister (PM) of India is an Ex-Officio Chairman of PM CARES Fund. Hon’ble Sh. Narendra Modi Ji occupies the position of Chariman of PM CARES in his capacity as the PM of India. This is same as in the case of PMNRF – there is no difference.
Query 3 : Who are the Trustees of PM CARES?
Reply : Following shall be the Trustees of PM CARES:-
a) Chariman – PM of India
b) Permanent Trusteed – Home Minister of India, Defence Minister of India, Finance Minister of India
c) Nominated Trustees – Maximum three trustees to the Board of Trustees can be nominated by the Chairman of PM CARES, who shall be eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy.
(Note – All trustees shall act in a Pro Bono Capacity)
Query 4 : Is there any Budgetary Allocation in PM CARES from the National Exchequer?
Reply : No – PM CARES Fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals/organizations and does not get any budgetary support.
Query 5 : What are the Objectives of PM CARES Fund?
Reply : The following are stated as the Objectives of PM CARES:-
a) 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, including the creation or upgradation of healthcare or pharmaceutical facilities, other necessary infrastructure, funding relevant research or any other type of support.
b) 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.
c) To undertake any other activity, which is not inconsistent with the above Objects.
Query 6 : Can the money received in PM CARES be utilised in any purpose other than its objective like Elections or Donations to private Societies & Trust?
Reply : The funds of PM CARES can only be utilised for the stated objective of PM CARES Fund. It cannot be used for Elections or any private donations.
Query 7 : What are the benefits of Donating in PM CARES Fund?
Reply : Besides service to the Nation, the donor of PM CARES shall be eligible to the Following:-
a) Benefit of 100% exemption u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961; and
b) For Companies donation to PM CARES shall be counted as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure under the Companies Act, 2013;
Query 8 : Can Foreign Donations be excepted under PM CARES?
Reply : PM CARES is registered under FCRA and is eligible to receive Foreign Payment.
Query 9 : What was the need of PM CARES when PMNRF was already there?
Reply : As per news and sources, the PMNRF was only for Natural Disasters, whereas PM CARES has been created to deal with pandemic situations like COVID19. This is a focused fund for dealing with an unprecedented situation due to COVID19 and the same cannot be dealt with in the same manner as other natural disasters that are served by PMNRF.
Query 10 : Will PM CARES be audited by office of Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) of India?
Reply : No, it will be audited by an Independent Auditor outside the Government in the same manner as the PMNRF is being audited. This is a standard auditing procedure for all Public Charitable Trusts including PMNRF.
1) PM CARES – https://www.pmindia.gov.in/en/about-pm-cares-fund/
2) PMNRF – https://pmnrf.gov.in/en/faqs/pmnrf