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The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation (PM CARES) Fund was established keeping in mind the necessity for having a dedicated fund in the country with its primary objective being to deal with any distress situation or emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is set up to provide relief to the public affected by the emergency or distress situation in the country. PM CARES was registered as a public charitable trust on 27 March 2020 under the Registration Act, 1908.
The Prime Minister (PM) of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund. The Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Defence, Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, i.e. the PM, has the power to nominate three trustees to the Board of Trustees. They must be eminent persons in the field of research, science, health, social work, public administration, law and philanthropy.
The PM CARES Fund accepts voluntary contributions made by organisations or individuals and contributions as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from the Companies or Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). However, the contributions arising out of the budgetary sources of the PSUs are not accepted. The contributions to the PM CARES Funds can be made by following modes:
The PM Cares fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from organisations or individuals, and it does not receive any budgetary support. It is a charitable fund where the people contribute to support and provide assistance for the people’s welfare in distress or emergencies. The contributions are utilised only for the objectives mentioned above.
The donations to PM CARES Fund qualify for 80G benefits provided under the Income Tax Act, 1961 for 100% exemption. They also qualify to be counted as CSR expenditure under the Companies Act, 2013.
The donation made to PM CARES Fund has got exemption under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 and a separate account for receiving the foreign donations is opened. Thus, the PM CARES Fund can accept contributions and donations from organisations and individuals based in foreign countries. During the year 2019-20, i.e. from 27 to 31 March 2020, an amount of Rs.3076.62 crore was collected under PM CARES Fund.