Focus: GS II: Government policies and Intervention
Why in News?
Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the PM CARES Fund
About PM CARES – Fund
- The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was created on 28 March 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
- The fund will be used 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 is the chairman of the fund, and that trustees include the Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance in 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- There are currently several ongoing cases at the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts in relation to the Fund.