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Ex-Bureaucrats Write to Modi, Seek ‘Transparency’ in PM CARES Fund

A group of 100 retired civil servants wrote that the opacity of PM CARES finances is “disturbing”.

Published
India
2 min read
In late March, PM Modi had announced the formation of a special fund to address the emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, called PM CARES.
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A group of 100 retired civil servants have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for financial details of PM Cares Fund to be made public.

Flagging the lack of transparency, the signatories that include IAS officers Anita Agnihotri, SP Ambrose, Sharad Behar, K Sujatha Rao and AS Dulat wrote that the opacity of PM Cares is “disturbing”.

"We have been keenly following the ongoing debate about the Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations, or 'PM CARES' – a fund created for the benefit of people affected by the COVID pandemic. Both the purpose for which it has been created as well as the way it has been administered have left a number of questions unanswered," they wrote in the letter.

“It is essential that the position and stature of the Prime Minister is kept intact by ensuring total transparency in all dealings the Prime Minister is associated with,” they said.

The Prime Minister's Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation (PM CARES) Fund which was set up by the Centre in March 2020 in beginning of the COVID outbreak in the country is said to have received at least $1.27 billion by May.

But it has constantly been facing a lot of controversies right from the start because of the government’s refusal to divulge financial receipts of this fund. Information about donations or expenditure is not widely available in public domain, nor is it audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

While in an RTI reply, it was said that the fund was “owned and established” by the government, it also said that the fund doesn’t come under RTI as it receives funds from private sources.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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