The pandemic of COVID-19 has engulfed the entire world and has posed serious challenges for the health and economic security of millions of people worldwide.
In India too, the spread of coronavirus has been alarming and it is posing severe health and economic ramifications
When India is fighting with Corona with its 21 days lock down period that started on March 25th in line with advice of World Health Organisation then with in 3 days of Lock out announcement schemes according to Indian Finance minister up to 1.7 Lakhs Crores Indian Rupees ( 22 billion US$) been made
But this inaccurate 22billion USD schemes blatantly has got many loop holes which not only fail to satisfied local population but also stock markets too failed to respond
Unmoved by the Modi government announcement Then various Indian states in line with federals then started demanding funds form Indian Centre government , take a case India State Tamilnadu on its part demanded 9000 Crores Rupees ( approx 1.2BUS$) to start with
Then Suddenly on 28th March India Prime Minister Modi appealed to Indian Public generously donate to ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund)
Many questions are being asked about the setting up of the new fund by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) when there is a Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) which has been in existence since 1948. The main question is there a need for a new fund based on the “trust” model when there was already a “trust” in the PMNRF?
“The PMNRF belongs to the people of India. Who does PM CARES Fund belong to?” asked the author and politician Salman Anees Soz. “The PMNRF has an unspent balance of Rs.3,800 crore [as of Dec 2019].
According to PMO website 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.
According to PMO web site Prime Minister is the Chairman of this trust and its Members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.
According to PMO website Citizens and organisations can go to the website pmindia.gov.in and donate to PM CARES Fund using following details:
In the PMO Website it is been stated Donations to this fund will be exempted from income tax under section 80(G).
However it should be noted The contribution towards PMNRF is 100 per ccent tax deductible under Section 80 G of the Income Tax Act. Though contribution towards PM CARES Fund will also get Section 80 G tax benefits, it is not clear if there 100 per cent deduction will be allowed. Auditors agree that not all donations under Section 80 G are eligible for 100 per cent tax deductions.
It also to be noted PMNRF belongs to the people of India and Contributions flowing out of budgetary sources of Government or from the balance sheets of the public sector undertakings are not accepted.
In case the donor deposits donations directly in any of the PMNRF collection banks, they are advised to provide complete transaction details along with their address to this office through e-mail at email@example.com for speedy issue of 80(G) Income Tax Receipts.
Observing the developments Prime Opposition party Congress on Monday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the creation of the new PMCARE trust to help contain coronavirus in the country, asking what was the need to create a separate trust when Rs 3,800 crore was lying unused in PM National relief fund
Congress Party leader Shashi Tharoor said that instead of creating a separate public charitable trust whose rules and expenditure are totally opaque, the prime minister should have renamed the PM National Relief Fund. “This is important. Why not simply rename the PM National Relief Fund.
This is important. Why not simply rename PMNRF as PM-CARES, given the PM's penchant for catchy acronyms, instead of creating a separate public charitable trust whose rules and expenditure are totally opaque,"he asked.
With out analysing the PMCares fund inlieu of PMNRF The officials and staff of the Supreme Court registry immediately decided to donate up to three days’ salary to the PM CARES fund in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Judiciary System Reacted Swiftly
According to a circular issued by Registrar (cash and accounts) Rajesh Kumar Goel, all gazetted officers will donate three days’ salary, non-gazetted employees will donate two days’ salary and group “C” employees will donate one day’s salary to the Prime Minister Citizens’ Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation (PM CARES) fund.
It is to be noted Under PMNRF Conditional contributions, where the donor specifically mentions that the amount is meant for a particular purpose, are not accepted in the Fund.
Simply PM CARES fund trespasses this conduct is a point of content Confirms learned Counsel legal sources
The contribution of the employees will be deducted from the salary of March. According to Supreme Court Circular
The circular also said the contribution will, however, be voluntary and those who do not wish to contribute have to intimate the top court by 10 am of March 31.
Now an interesting question arise How CAN court ISSUE a CIRCULAR to it’s Employees, to contribute their Salary to a private TRUST called PMcaresFund instead of the INSTITUTIONALISED PMNRF Govt body and then Put the onus of responsibility of negating the same to its employees
Should not Investigation has to be launched on the Registrar as to whose INSTRUCTION he has done it and what is the due process he has done to actualise this to be taken up..
At this Juncture It is to be noted Post Retirement with in six months Cheif judge RanjanGogoi been made Rajya sabha MP that stirred national wide debate whether SC judges post retirement is apt .
The Defense System reacted
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also receives a cheque immediately for 116 crore donated by paramilitary forces personnel to PM-CARES Fund to fight the coronavirus pandemic also arises .. Should not Investigation has to be launched on the to whose INSTRUCTION what’s the due process he has done to actualise this to be taken
These activities triggered and Twitter buzzed with queries viz Why couldn’t COVID19 donations go to PMNRF . Why was PM CARES created .. Why are the Prime Minister and three other Ministers members of this trust without any opposition or civil society leaders as members ”
Joining the debate, famous Historian Ramachandra Guha said the new fund could be a ‘national tragedy’. “Why a new fund when a Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund already exists? And why the self-aggrandizing name, PM-CARES? Must a colossal national tragedy also be (mis)used to enhance the cult of personality?” he tweeted.
Corporate Houses Swift reaction
Firms with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or revenue of Rs 1,000 crore or a net profit of Rs 5 crore should spend at least 2% of profit on CSR as per the Companies Act, 2013
Glimpse of the type of expenditures which are treated as CSR expenditures as per Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013:
- Eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition, promoting preventive healthcare,
- Promoting education and promoting gender equality,
- Setting up homes for women, orphans and the senior citizens, measures for reducing inequalities faced by socially and economically backward groups,
- Ensuring environmental sustainability and ecological balance, animal welfare,
- Protection of national heritage and art and culture,
- Measures for the benefit of armed forces veterans, war widows and their dependents,
- Training to promote rural, nationally recognized, Paralympic or Olympic sports,
- Contribution to the prime minister’s national relief fund or any other fund set up by the Central Government for socio economic development and relief and welfare of SC, ST, OBCs, minorities and women,
- Contributions or funds provided to technology incubators located within academic institutions approved by the Central Government,
- Rural development projects,
- Slum area development.
Learned Scholars pointed out First time in India CSR funds also been routed to PMcares fund “Even if you have contributed the prescribed amount towards CSR, I would like to urge you to contribute over and above the minimum prescribed amount, which can later be offset against the CSR obligation arising in subsequent years, if you so desire,” said corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas in an online appeal to company chiefs.
it is to be noted Whether a particular expenditure spent on CSR will be allowed under the Income-tax Act for the company will depend upon the nature of expenditure itself.In most of the cases which are not falling under the revenue expenditure, the Income Tax Officer will disallow these expenses.
So it is interesting to be seen whether Coporates are going to get double benefit . Meeting a obligation is one and getting a Tax exemption is another
Many corporate houses like Reliance Industries, JSW Steel, etc have contributed to PM-CARES Fund according to various news agencies and it crossed Thousands of Crores as on date
The medical system that is important to fight corona
All Central and State Government hospitals are on the panel of PMNRF. In addition to this, the following Private hospitals are also on the panel can be had from this list
When already Hospitals are empanelled at PMNRF what hospitals are under PMCARES a question to be answered that would certainly take time . At this time of war foot emergency days of Corona attack this additional burden why been forced in to the bjp government need to answer
It is to be noted Manoj an advocate, asked the following questions on Twitter on March 29: “Is the settler/chairman—PM of India or Narendra Modi? The other members—in personal names or official capacity? What is the registered office address of the PM CARES trust?”
At a time when India battles its war against deadly virus that entire world made afraid of is .. Is it necessary for Indian Prime minister to make new name for fund under a new trust that warrants lot of un answered questions ..
The mission of Corona fund is to be PM cares not PM scares is not it..