• Mohit Pathak

PM Cares: why a new fund?

Why do we need a new fund when there is already a fund with around 3800 cr surplus?
Why there are only 4 members i.e. PM, Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister and no member outside their cabinet or say from opposition or society?
Image courtesy:- Business Standards

This a high time the nation is standing together to fight with the COVID 19 or the Coronavirus. There are so many measures adopted by the central and state governments to fight with this pandemic. One of those measures is the creation of a new fund PM Care fund.


Now questions are being asked that why do we need a fund when there already exists a fund named Prim Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF) which has been and should be used for such situations? As per the official website (https://pmnrf.gov.in/), the surplus with the fund is 3800 crores.


What is PMNRF?

The fund was created in 1948 initially to help displaced people from Pakistan, which was later extended to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, etc. and to the victims of the major accidents and riots. It is a trust and is not constituted by the parliament. Fund gets no money from the government and all the money is donated by the public. The donation is exempt under the Income Tax Act 1961. The fund is headed by PM and administered by Joint secretory to PM and assisted by assisted on Honorary basis by an officer of the rank of Director.

What Is PM Cares Fund?

As of now, there is no official website available for the fund, however, the Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PM_CARES_Fund) is created for the Fund which contains very little information. “The fund will be used to combat, containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic like situations in the future. The Prime Minister is the chairman of the trust. Members will include the defence, home and finance ministers” as mentioned on Wikipedia. The fund also gets Income Tax Exemption benefit under 80G.

Why this new fund?

There is no clear response from the Govt, however, opposition leaders and eminent scholars have raised several questions like


  • Why do we need a new fund when there is already a fund with around 3800 cr surplus?

  • Why there are only 4 members i.e. PM, Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister and no member outside their cabinet or say from opposition or society?

The informal response published by The Business Today is that the fund is created to especially focus on the current COVID 19 pandemic whereas PMNRF covers lots of more things. Further, it is assumed that the fund is created to make it more attractive to encourage donors to donate more towards the fund. Since the inception of the fund has received donations from all areas of the society, however, the details are not made officially public.

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