Former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday slammed the Centre over PM CARES Fund after it received Rs 3076 crore as contributions from India and abroad within the first five days. Chidambaram also questioned the government for not revealing the names of these donors.
Taking to Twitter, P Chidambaram wrote: "The auditors of PM CARES FUND have confirmed that the Fund received Rs 3076 crore in just 5 days between March 26 and 31, 2020."
He also questioned why the government had not disclosed names of even NGOs or Trusts. "But the names of these generous donors will not be revealed. Why? Every other NGO or Trust is obliged to reveal the names of donors contributing more than a threshold amount. Why is the PM CARES FUND exempt from this obligation?" Chidambaram asked.
The Former Finance Minister also asked why the trustees of PM CARES Fund are afraid of revealing the names of the donors. "The donee is known. The trustees of the donee are known. Why are the trustees afraid to reveal the names of the donors?" Chidambaram asked.
Chidambaram's statement comes after a report by Economic Times stated that PM CARES Fund received over Rs 3,076 crore as contributions from India and abroad within the first five days of it being set up.
As per the report, Rs 3075.85 crore was received as voluntary contributions and Rs 39.67 lakh as foreign contributions till March 31. The statement says PM-CARES had an initial corpus of Rs 2.25 lakh and the fund has also received an interest of around Rs 35 lakh. A statement from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that the fund paid, amounting to Rs 2,049, was service tax on Forex conversion and had a closing balance of Rs 3076.62 crore as on March 31.
PM-CARES was set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March to "deal with emergency or distress situations like the coronavirus pandemic". It is managed by a trust with PM Modi as its chairperson and senior cabinet members as trustees.