Rs 205 crore given to PM CARES fund from salaries of RBI, govt banks and LIC employees, reveal RTI replies

About seven public sector banks, seven other financial institutions including LIC and RBI, have together contributed Rs 204.75 crore from their staff salaries to PM CARES fund, reveal RTI records

Rs 205 crore given to PM CARES fund from salaries of RBI, govt banks and LIC employees, reveal RTI replies

NH Web Desk

According to the Right to Information record accessed by The Indian Express, about seven public sector banks, seven other financial institutions and LIC and Reserve Bank of India, have together contributed Rs 204.75 crore from their staff salaries to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund. But the Prime Minister’s Office has declined to furnish details of the contributions saying that PM CARES fund is not a public authority and hence doesn’t fall under the ambit of RTI Act.

According to a report by The Indian Express, over Rs 144.5 crore were contributed by Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) and National Housing Bank from their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) allocation and other provisions.

This amounts to a total contribution of Rs 349.25 crore from the 15 government banks and institutions that responded to RTI queries from The Indian Express.

The PM’s office has refused to furnish details of contributions received, saying that PM CARES is “not a public authority under the…RTI Act”.

Life Insurance Corporation alone gave Rs 113.63 crore to PM CARES fund under several categories. Rs 8.64 crore from staff salaries, Rs 100 crore under Corporate Communication and Rs 5 crore under “Golden Jubilee Foundation”, response to RTIs have revealed.

According to the Indian Express report, records show that LIC’s contribution of Rs 100 crore was made on March 31. The contribution under Golden Jubilee Foundation of Rs 5 crore was donated in March but no date was specified in the response.

State Bank of India contributed around Rs 100 crore on March 31. In its response, SBI said that its entire contribution was from the salaries of its employees.

RBI, stated that its Rs 7.34 crore was from “contribution by employees”.

PM CARES fund was set up on March 28 this year following the COVID outbreak. It had a corpus of Rs 3,076.62 crore by March 31 itself, of which Rs 3,075.85 crore were listed as “voluntary contributions”.

According to the report by Indian Express, on August 19, 38 PSUs used their CSR funds to together contribute over Rs 2,105 crore. Five days ago, this newspaper reported that several central educational institutions and regulators contributed Rs 21.81 crore in the form of “voluntary contributions” from salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff, and from students and pensioners.

RTI replies received by The Indian Express from banks and financial institutions detailing their contributions from staff salaries and related benefits show:

* Canara Bank did not provide any detail but stated that its Rs 15.53 crore was the “total amount contributed”.

* Union Bank of India contributed Rs 14.81 crore: one-day privilege leave encashment of employees.

* Central Bank of India (Rs 11.89 crore): two-day privilege leave encashment of employees.

* Bank of Maharashtra (Rs 5 crore): one-day salary and two-day leave encashment of employees.

* SIDBI, Small Industries Development Bank of India, (Rs 80 lakh): “voluntary contribution from salary” of employees.

* GIC (Rs 14.51 lakh): “one-day salary” of employees.

* IRDAI, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, (Rs 16.08 lakh): “voluntary contribution” by employees.

* NABARD, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, (Rs 9.04 crore): salaries of “employees and retired employees”.

* National Housing Bank (Rs 3.82 lakh): “employee contribution”.

Besides LIC, those who also contributed from sources other than staff salaries include: GIC with Rs 22.8 crore from CSR; SIDBI with Rs 14.2 crore from CSR; and, National Housing Bank with Rs 2.5 crore from CSR.

The RTI queries were sent in August and their replies were received this month. EXIM Bank has not revealed any detail except that it showed in its annual report that it contributed Rs 1 crore to the PM CARES fund. EXIM Bank is solely owned by the government.

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