New Delhi: PM CARES Fund, opened for COVID-19 relief received donations worth Rs 3,076 crore in the first five days of its inception, revealed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Office. PM Care Fund had attracted a lot of criticism.
On March 2, the PM Cares fund was set up with an initial investment worth Rs 2.25 lakh . The data was released in the first audited report of payments and receipts of the PM CARES Fund for FY20.
According to a report, the voluntary contributions amounted to Rs 3,075.8 crore as of March 31, 2020, while foreign contributions stood at Rs 39.6 lakh. The total interest income generated in the regular account during the initial five days was Rs 35.3 lakh, while the foreign contributions account earned interest of Rs 575. The total closing balance in the PM CARES Fund account stood at Rs 3,076.6 crore after deducting service tax on forex conversion.
SARC & Associates Chartered Accountants audited the PM CARES account, which has been signed by four PMO officials, including Shrikar K Pardesh, Secretary, Hardik Shah, Deputy Secretary, Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, undersecretary, and Parvesh Kumar, section officer, on behalf of the fund.
However, the PM CARES fund report does not specify who contributed how much for the fund and how it is being utilised. It is headed by the Prime Minister (ex-Officio) and other ex-officio Members of the trust are Defence Minister, Home Minister, and Finance Minister.
The funds accepted voluntary contributions by individuals/organizations as well as contributions as part of CSR from Companies/Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). One can make contributions as low as Rs 10 by net banking (SBI and other commercial banks), card payments, and NEFT/RTGS through SBI branch.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has slammed the Prime Minister’s Office and raised questions such as- Why are the names of donors not revealed? Why auditors of PM CARES FUND have released information between Rs 3,076 crore in just 5 days between March 26 and 31, 2020 only? The questions were raised by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram.