PM CARES – Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund
- The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was created on 28 March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
- The fund will be used for combating, containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic like situations in the future.
- It is the Public charitable trust headed by Prime Minster and Members include The Defense minister, The Home Minster and The Finance Minister.
- It accepts Micro Donations It will strengthen disaster management capacities and encourage research on protecting citizens.
Protection under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has clarified that contributions by companies towards the PM-CARES Fund will count towards mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
- Under the Companies Act, 2013, companies with a minimum net worth of Rs 500 crore or turnover of Rs 1,000 crore, or net profit of Rs 5 crore are required to spend at least 2% of their average profit for the previous three years on CSR activities every year.
- The term “Corporate Social Responsibility” in general can be referred to as a corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare.
Features of PM-CARES fund
- The fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals /organizations.
- It does not get any budgetary support.
- Donations to PM CARES Fund would qualify for 80G benefits for 100% exemption under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
- The Fund is held by the State Bank of India.
- Donations to PM CARES Fund will also qualify to be counted as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure under the Companies Act, 2013.
- PM CARES Fund has also got exemption under the FCRA and a separate account for receiving foreign donations has been opened.
- This enables PM CARES Fund to accept donations and contributions from individuals and organizations based in foreign countries.
- This is consistent with respect to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). PMNRF has also received foreign contributions as a public trust since 2011.
Objectives of PM CARES Fund
- To undertake and support relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency or any other kind of emergency, calamity or distress, either man-made or natural, including the creation or upgradation of healthcare or pharmaceutical facilities, other necessary infrastructure, funding relevant research or any other type of support.
- To render financial assistance, provide grants of payments of money or take such other steps as may be deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees to the affected population.
- To undertake any other activity, which is not inconsistent with the above Objects.
Composition of PM CARES
- Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund.
- The Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.
- The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees (Prime Minister) shall have the power to nominate three trustees to the Board of Trustees who shall be eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy.
- Any person appointed a Trustee shall act in a pro bono capacity.