New Delhi: Amid controversy over the PM-CARES Fund, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday stressed on the need for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that it is audited, adding that the record of money received by and spent through it should be made available to the public. Also Read - No Money in PM-CARES For Migrants? Controversy Erupts as Railways Asks States to Pay For Train Rides
“The PM-CARES Fund has received huge contributions from PSUs and major public utilities like the Railways. It’s important that PM ensures the fund is audited and that the record of money received and spent is available to the public,” he tweeted late Saturday night. Also Read - Coronavirus: Supreme Court Rejects Plea Against PM-Cares Fund, Calls it 'Misconceived'
Earlier this week, while hitting out at the central government for allegedly charging migrant labourers for their journeys back home in ‘Shramik Special’ trains, Congress chief and Wayanad Lok Sabha MP’s mother, Sonia Gandhi, had made a specific mention of the Railways contributing Rs 151 crore to the PM-CARES Fund.
Notably, the controversy over the fund stems over reports that it will not be audited by the Comptroller General of India (CAG) as it is a ‘charitable organisation.’ It will, instead, reportedly be audited by ‘independent auditors who will be appointed by the trustees’.
This has, therefore, led to frequent demands from the Congress, opposition parties and critics that the the fund be audited strictly as it has received enormous contributions.
The fund, notably, stands for the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES) and was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 28 amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here, citizens can contribute to aide the government’s efforts in supporting those affected by disasters. It also accepts donations from foreign individuals and organisations as well.
It is chaired by the PM himself, and has as its members, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
A petition against the PM-CARES Fund has already been dismissed by the Supreme Court.