The Government-run publicly traded companies have contributed at least Rs 2,913.6 crore to the Prime Minister’s controversial Citizens Relief and Assistance Fund in Emergencies (PM CARES) between 2019 -20 and 2021-22, according to an analysis by Business Standard.
The contribution is more significant than the combined donation from 247 other companies, accounting for 59.3% of the total donation of Rs 4,910.5 crore.
Top five donors to the PM cares fund are:
- Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (Rs 370 crore),
- NTPC (Rs 330 crore),
- Power Grid Corporation of India (Rs 275 crore),
- Indian Oil Corporation (Rs 265 crore rupees)
- Power Finance Corporation. (Rs 222.4 crore).
The Business Standard report focused on 57 companies in which the government had a significant stake to calculate the donations made to the PM CARES Fund.
The fund has faced criticism since its establishment in March 2020 due to its lack of public scrutiny and acceptance of donations from foreign entities, including Chinese companies.
As per a submission by the Union government to the Delhi High Court in January 2023, the PM CARES Fund is not controlled by the Government of India. This reiterates the position stated in a 2020 Supreme Court judgment, which observed that the trust does not receive any government funds.
Government-run listed companies donate to PM CARES Fund
According to a report by Business Standard, government-run listed companies have contributed at least Rs 2,913.6 crore to the controversial Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund between 2019-20 and 2021-22. The data was collated by tracker primeinfobase.com for 57 companies in which the government had a significant stake.
In the first year of its establishment, the PM CARES Fund received a significant amount from corporate India’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets, with a total CSR contribution of Rs 1,577.8 crore, which is more than half the collection of Rs 3,076.6 crore in 2019-20. The fund also receives donations from individuals and other organizations besides companies.
In 2020-21, the PM CARES Fund’s collection increased to Rs 10,990.2 crore, with CSR contributions from NSE-listed companies rising to Rs 2,471.6 crore.
In 2021-22, the figure for CSR contributions from NSE-listed companies was Rs 861.1 crore, with the total collection being Rs 9,131.9 crore.
The PM CARES Fund has been in the midst of controversy due to its lack of public scrutiny and receipt of funds from foreign entities, including Chinese companies. The recent amendments in the CSR provisions have also raised concerns about transparency, with companies no longer having to provide as many details to shareholders on where CSR spends are going.
As per a submission by the Union government to the Delhi High Court in January 2023, the PM CARES Fund is not controlled by the Government of India, and a 2020 Supreme Court judgment noted that the trust does not receive any government funds.
The PM CARES Fund spent a limited amount of Rs 2,049 in the few days it was operational in 2019-20. This increased significantly to Rs 3,976.2 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 3,716.3 crore in 2021-22.
Here’s a list of significant contributions made so far to PM-CARES:
- Indian Air Force personnel contribute Rs 29.18 crore to PM-CARES Fund.
- Indian Navy contributes Rs 16.77 crore to PM-CARES Fund
- The Indian Army has contributed Rs 157.71 crore to this fund
- Seven public sector banks including the Reserve Bank of India contributed Rs 204.75 crore
- Central educational institutions contributed Rs 21.81 crore.
- 101 public sector undertakings (PSUs) have contributed a total of Rs 154.70 crore from staff salaries to the PM-CARE funds.
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