PM Cares Fund

Keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, a public charitable trust under the name of ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund)’ has been set up.

The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was created on 27 March 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic in India. The stated purpose of the fund is for combating, and containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic like situations in the future. Although the documentation for the constitution of the fund has not been made public, the Government of India has stated that the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is the chairman of the fund, and that trustees include the Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh; Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, and Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, in the Government of India.

The total amount of funds donated and the names of donors have not been publicly disclosed, and the fund is privately audited. The Government of India has initially claimed that the fund is a private fund, and denied that the PM CARES Fund is a public fund for the purposes of transparency laws such as the Right to Information Act 2005, even though the Fund uses government infrastructure and the national emblem of the Government of India. The PM CARES Fund has faced criticism for the lack of transparency and accountability in relation to its establishment, functioning, and accounts. In December 2020, the Government of India reversed its stance and admitted that the PM CARES Fund was a public fund, but still refused to disclose information regarding it under the Right to Information Act 2005.

 

Objectives :

• To undertake and support 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.

• To render financial assistance, provide grants of payments of money or take such other steps as may be deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees to the affected population.

• To undertake any other activity, which is not inconsistent with the above Objects.

 

Constitution of the Trust :

• Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund and Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.

• The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees (Prime Minister) shall have the power to nominate three trustees to the Board of Trustees who shall be eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy.

• Any person appointed a Trustee shall act in a pro bono capacity.