New Delhi [India], September 19 (ANI): Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on Saturday said that Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund has been registered under relevant provisions of law unlike Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF) which is still not registered.
Participating to the debate in the Lok Sabha on Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, Thakur targeted Congress and said provisions of PMNRF provided that President of Indian National Congress will be its member.
He also targeted Congress over trusts "managed by one family".
"The PM-CARES fund was registered on March 27, 2020, under the 1908 Act. An independent auditor was appointed. Nobody is forced to donate to this fund. The members of the trust are all ex officio members such as Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance," Thakur said.
"The first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru constituted PMNRF in 1948. PMNRF is still not registered. The members of the trust were Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the President of Indian National Congress and a nominee of Tata Trust," Thakur added.
He said PM-CARES Fund is a public charitable trust so it was suggested that CAG audit is not required.
"Those who are demanding CAG audit for this trust, are they ready for the audit of all the trusts being managed by one family?" he asked.
Thakur said questions were raised by opposition members on PM-CARES while there are over 49,000 other trusts which have got exemption under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
"There were 49,483 trusts in addition to this corpus which got an exemption on FCRA. Why is concern being raised on PM-CARES fund alone then?" he asked.
He said PM CARES Fund was created in response to the situation created by COVID-19.
"PM Narendra Modi donated an initial corpus of Rs 2.25 lakh. The Prime Minister's mother and former CJI Ranjan Gogoi's mother also donated to PM-CARES fund. A beggar also donated Rs 5,000 to the fund. People from various occupations have donated to PM-CARES Fund," he added. (ANI)