Guwahati: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Office has revealed the PM CARES Fund, opened for COVID-19 relief, received donations worth Rs 3,076 crore in the first five days of its formation. The PM Cares fund was set up with an initial investment worth Rs 2.25 lakh on March 27.
The data was released in the first audited report of payments and receipts of the PM CARES Fund for FY20.
As per the date, the voluntary contributions account for 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. After deducting service tax on forex conversion, the total closing balance in the PM CARES Fund account stood at Rs 3,076.6 crore.
SARC & Associates Charted 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.
The PM CARES (Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund Trust which was set up on March 27 intends to deal with any kind of emergency or distress situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is headed by Prime Minister (ex-Officio) and other ex-officio Members of the trust are Defence Minister, Home Minister, and Finance Minister.
It accepts voluntary contributions by individuals/organizations as well as contributions as part of CSR from Companies/Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). However, the trust does not accept contributions flowing out of budgetary sources of the 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. Contributions can also be made online through the portal of PMO i.e. pmindia.gov.in as well as through the portals of the collection banks.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has slammed the Prime Minister's Office for not revealing the names of the donors of the fund. "The auditors of PM CARES FUND have confirmed that the Fund received Rs 3,076 crore in just 5 days between March 26 and 31, 2020. But the names of these generous donors will not be revealed. Why?" queried senior Congress leader P Chidambaram.
The Congress has time and again raised questions on the advantages of having a separate fund when the PMNRF (Prime Minister's National Relief Fund) is for the same purpose.