PM ‘cares’ but what happened to the PM’s National Relief Fund?
For half a century and more, we have had the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. But on Saturday the Government announced a new fund called ‘PM CARES’ to cope with the coronavirus crisis
PM cares. But about what? Organising mega shows for his friend ‘Dolan’ Trump while ignoring advisories by the World Health Organisation, asked a senior citizen soon after the announcement of the new relief fund to deal with national emergencies. Shouldn’t it had been called ‘INDIA CARES’?
Some were even less charitable and wondered why the PM needed to brand himself and make political capital out of a crisis of gigantic proportions?
Above all, why did the Government feel the need to launch a new fund when the PMNRF has been there for all these years ?
The Prime Minister on Sunday apologized for the harsh lockdown and declared that he had no choice and he had taken the decision in the interest of citizens and the poor. This infuriated some people even more and they pointed out that the PM had not apologized for the delay, for poor planning and coordination, for not taking states into confidence and for not being transparent with people.
It is always “ I, me and myself” with him, fumed a former bureaucrat.
On Saturday the government set up the PM-CARES Fund to provide relief to those affected by any kind of emergency or distress situation in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It will have the Prime Minister as the Chairman of the trust and include the Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister as its members. Citizens and organisations can go to the website pmindia.gov.in and donate to PM CARES Fund, a government notification said.
Sceptics questioned the centralized approach and wondered how the funds would be disbursed. Would the lion’s share go to NGOs with RSS affiliation and to the BJP-ruled states? Why not have a few chief ministers also in the Trust? Would the Trust disburse funds to the state governments? There is no clear answer as yet. Others took to Twitter to ask some pointed questions. Some of them are as follows:
1. When was it decided to form of a Public Charitable Trust? 2. Compelling reasons to do so ? 3. Advantages of forming a new PCT as against the existing PMNRF ? 4. Where do we get to see / read the bye-laws ? 5. Under which Act is it registered ?
6. When & where did the registration take place?
7. Is the Settler / Chairman - PM of India or Narendra Modi?
8. Other members are there- in personal names or official capacity?
9. What is the registered office address of the PM-CARES Trust?
10. Why are cronies like Akshay Kumar, Vijay Prakash of PayTM, Jay Shah of BCCI falling over each other to donate to this freshly baked Public Charitable Trust instead of the institutionalised PMNRF ?
“It’s called “PM CARES” but the money has to come from public donation. Meanwhile, tax payers’ money is splurged on statues, advertising, foreign trips and an insane plan to rebuild the central vista of New Delhi with 20k crores of public money’ .
A scathing tweet following the PM’s apology was this: