New Delhi: PM-CARES Fund for Coronavirus has been generally seen as a government trust for corporate donations. However, a report carried by news channel NDTV puts a big question mark on the same. The report said that a clause in the trust documents calls it a private entity, which is also why, it is excused from RTI scrutiny. Also Read - AIIMS Worker Suffers Allergic Reaction After Receiving Coronavirus Vaccine, Admitted to ICU
NDTV quoted Point 5.3 of the 16-page trust deed Trust Deed as saying: “The trust is neither intended to be or is in fact owned, controlled or substantially financed by any government or any instrumentality of the government. There is no control of either the central government or any state governments, either direct or indirect, in the functioning of the trust in any manner whatsoever.” Also Read - Vaccination Against COVID-19 Begins in India, Bailey Bridge on Jammu-Srinagar Highway Opens After 1 Week: Top Headlines at This Hour
The document also read that the trust “shall fully respect and will not allow any invasion of privacy of the contributor/s by divulging their names, addresses or other details and the details regarding their contributions to anyone except the tax authorities as and when required,” quoted Economic Times. Also Read - Breaking News LIVE: Maharashtra Govt Denies Suspending Vaccination Drive, Says Sessions Will be Organised Next Week as Centre's Guidelines
Notably, several opposition parties have earlier called for transparency of the PM-Cares fund while questioning ministers being the trustees of the fund. The PM-Cares fund was set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March to deal with Coronavirus pandemic and other emergency-like situations. Modi is the chairperson of the trust while others ministers constitute the board of trustees.
The Fund’s objectives include undertaking and supporting 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, according to its website.
Meanwhile, as per an account statement made public by the fund in September, the PM CARES Fund had received Rs 3,076.62 crore in just five days of its formation. The ‘receipt and payment account’ had showed nearly Rs 3,075.85 crore as ‘voluntary contributions’, while Rs 39.67 lakh came as foreign contributions.