Modi cares, for ‘Funds’ only

Senior journalist ND Sharma writes that apart from PM Cares, Modi had created another Fund, called Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK), which got contributions received from Corporate Sector, philanthropists and individuals. Its objective was to ‘clean’ India by 2019'. Nothing has been heard of this Kosh since long

Must read

N D Sharma
N D Sharma
is a senior journalist, and Patron of eNewsroom India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a penchant for exploring new avenues for collecting money from public. The latest is the surreptitious creation, on March 28, of ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ or ‘PM CARES Fund’. A Press Information Bureau (PIB) release said: ‘Keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, a public charitable trust under the name of ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund)’ has been set up. Prime Minister is the Chairman of this trust and its Members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.

Prime Minister’s latest venture invited instant criticism from different quarters. Noted historian Ram Chandra Guha tweeted: ‘Why a new fund when a Prime Minister’s Relief Fund exists? And why the self-aggrandizing name, PM CARES? Must a colossal national tragedy also be (mis)used to enhance the cult of personality?’ Guha also wanted to know when it was decided to form a Public Charitable Trust, what the compelling reasons to do so were, and what were the advantages of forming a new Public Charitable Trust as against the existing Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). Guha wondered why ‘cronies like Akshay Canada Kumar, Vijay PayTM, Jay BCCI Shah etc are falling over each other to donate to this freshly baked Public Charitable Trust instead of the institutionalised PMNRF’.

Congress, too, wondered what was the need to create a separate trust when Rs 3,800 crore was lying unused in PM National Relief Fund. Party leader Shashi Tharoor said in a tweet: ‘PM, you owe the country an explanation for this high unusual step’. Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh said that when Rs 3,800 crore were remaining unused in the PM National Relief Fund, what was the need to have a separate trust in the name of PM CARES.

Modi had created another Fund only a few months after becoming Prime Minister in 2014. It was called Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) and consisted of contributions received from Corporate Sector, philanthropists and individuals. Its objective was to ‘clean’ India by 2019. Nothing has since been heard of this Kosh; how much money it received and how that was spent. Besides, almost all municipal corporations and municipal committees in the country collect from the residents cleanliness cess. Was there any mechanism developed to coordinate utilisation of the money collected by SBK and local bodies?

Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund was created in January 1948 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to help the people subjected to violence and displacement following the partition of India. The resources of the PMNRF are utilised primarily to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, etc, and to the victims of the major accidents and riots. Assistance from PMNRF is also rendered to defray the expenses for treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment and acid attack among others. The fund consists of only public contributions.

Modi had created another Fund only a few months after becoming Prime Minister in 2014. It was called Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) and consisted of contributions received from Corporate Sector, philanthropists and individuals. Its objective was to ‘clean’ India by 2019. Nothing has since been heard of this Kosh; how much money it received and how that was spent. Besides, almost all municipal corporations and municipal committees in the country collect from the residents cleanliness cess. Was there any mechanism developed to coordinate utilisation of the money collected by SBK and local bodies?

The Modi government had, in the meantime, mischievously introduced Electoral Bonds, apparently in flagrant violation of the Constitutional provisions. The Election Commission had expressed the apprehension in its communication to the government that the Electoral Bonds would lead to money laundering by setting up of shell companies for diverting funds for donating to political parties. Needless to say that Modi’s party has been the major beneficiary of the scheme. Constitutional validity of Electoral Bonds scheme was challenged in the Supreme Court. The matter got stuck there as then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi succumbed to sexual harassment blackmail and changed the goal of his life.

 

Views expressed here, are the author’s personal opinion

N D Sharma
N D Sharma
is a senior journalist, and Patron of eNewsroom India.

FOLLOW US

204,858FansLike
23,848FollowersFollow
10,384FollowersFollow
15,844SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -

Editor's choice

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest News

Diversity in Nation Building: Contributes or Hinders?

There is news that in UK, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled (17/10/2020) 50 Pence 'Diversity coin’ to celebrate Britain’s diverse history and recognise the...

Politics over pandemic in Bengal

It is a pity that after managing to control the rates of infection, recovery and mortality from the coronavirus reasonably better than five other...

CBI, country’s premier crime investigation agency, losing trust of the people

Maharashtra’s is the latest non-BJP government to withdraw general consent to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for taking up investigation of a crime...

As Bengal election nears, BJP to organize Durga Puja in Kolkata

Kolkata: Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is eyeing to cash on the biggest festival of West Bengal, Durga Puja. Bengal BJP has decided to organise a...

Durga to be worshipped as a migrant worker in many pujas in Bengal

Kolkata: In West Bengal, it’s been a tradition for puja pandals in and around Kolkata to always resonate the present social issues through their...