Current Issues

Significant Contributions to the PM CARES Fund From Government Employees

This article by The Wire Staff was originally published by The Wire, 19 December 2020

The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund has been deemed not a “public authority” under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, by the prime minister’s office (PMO), and yet has received massive salary contributions from various government agencies.

According to a recent Indian Express report, the Indian Armed Forces have also made significant contributions to this fund from the salaries of their personnel.

The PM-CARES fund was set up on 27 March 2020, as an emergency measure for disaster relief during the coronavirus pandemic. The PMO – which manages the fund – has refused to divulge information under the RTI Act, claiming that the fund is not a “public authority” under the Act.

By 31 March, just four days later, the body boasted a corpus of Rs 3,076 crore of which Rs 3,075.85 crore was listed as “voluntary contributions”.

Here’s a list of significant contributions made so far to PM-CARES:

Indian Air Force

The IAF, through its personnel, has contributed a total of Rs 29.18 crore to PM-CARES Fund from April to October, it disclosed in an RTI response to the Indian Express.

In April, its contribution stood at Rs 25.03 crore, in May at Rs 75.24 lakh, in June at Rs 1.08 crore, in July at Rs 73.93 lakh, August at Rs 61.18 lakh, September at Rs 50.27 lakh and in October at Rs 46.70 lakh.

Indian Navy

The Indian Navy contributed a total of Rs 16.77 crore between April to October to PM-CARES fund – Rs  12.41 crore through the officers and sailors, and Rs 4.36 crore through its civilian personnel.

The RTI response further stated that the integrated headquarters under the Ministry of Defence (Navy) doesn’t have the information of the contribution made from other heads.

Indian Army

The Indian Army has contributed Rs 157.71 crore to this fund. The additional directorate general of public information (ADG PI) provided this information through Twitter. The tweet on 15 May stated that the said amount was “one day salary” for the month of April 2020.

Public Sector Banks

In all, seven public sector banks including the Reserve Bank of India contributed Rs 204.75 crore.

Central Educational Institutions

From the staff salaries, numerous centrally run educational institutions contributed Rs 21.81 crore.

Public Sector Units

About 101 PSUs have contributed Rs 154.70 crore from the staff salaries to the fund and 98 others contributed a total of Rs 2,422.87 crore from their CSR funds.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. AlignIndia does not take any responsibility for the content of the article.

(This article was compiled by Staff of The Wire from publicly available information)

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