'PM cares' not government fund: Centre's affidavit
New Delhi / Correspondent
The PM Care Fund, set up to help the needy and in case of emergency is not a government fund. The amount deposited in the fund does not go to the exchequer, the affidavit submitted by the Prime Minister's Office to the Delhi High Court said. The affidavit also states that the funds are scrutinized by a chartered accountant on the CAG's panel to maintain the transparency of the funds.
Samyak Gangwal has filed a PIL in the court seeking to declare the fund as a government fund to maintain the transparency of the PM Care Fund. During the hearing of the petition, the court directed to submit an affidavit regarding the funds. The affidavit has been filed by Secretary to the Prime Minister's Office Pradeep Kumar Srivastava.
In order to maintain the transparency of the fund, the affidavit states that the audit report is being published on the official website of the fund along with the deposit and expenditure of the fund. Speaking on the occasion, Srivastava said that if the petitioners were claiming to be social activists and were seeking various concessions for the sake of transparency, then there was no need for the fund to be 'governmental' as per Article 12 of the Constitution.
The fund operates like any other social or charitable trust. Donations for this fund are accepted through online payments, checks or cash withdrawals. The affidavit states that the details of the donations received and the expenditure incurred from the fund are published on the website along with the audit report.
The fund was set up by the Prime Minister in the wake of the Corona crisis. The petitioners have stated that the funds should be governmental as the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Defense Minister and Finance Minister are the trustees of the fund. Otherwise, the use of 'gov' in its web site domain, a photograph of the Prime Minister and the insignia used for this fund should be barred, the petitioners' advocate said.