The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund), set up to deal with emergencies, saw its corpus grow to Rs 10,990 crore in the 2020-21 fiscal.
This is an increase of nearly three times from its corpus in the previous fiscal, which stood at Rs 3,076 crore on an initial corpus of Rs 2.25 lakh.
Meanwhile, this fiscal's disbursals rose to Rs 3,976 crore, or 36.17 percent of its corpus.
This included Rs 1,000 crore for migrant welfare and over Rs 1,392 crore for procurement of 6.6 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses. Further, Rs 1,311 crore was used to buy 50,000 Made in India ventilators for use in government hospitals run by the Centre and states.
Other disbursals in the 2020-21 fiscal included Rs 201 crore to set up 162 oxygen generation plants and Rs 20.41 crore on upgrading the government-run labs to test and release COVID-19 vaccines. A further Rs 50 crore was used to set up two COVID-19-dedicated hospitals in Bihar's Muzaffarpur and Patna. Sixteen laboratories were also set up to test PCR samples in different states.
According to the audited statement, in the period 2019-2020, Rs 39,67,748 was received through foreign donations.
Meanwhile, in the 2020-21 fiscal, the fund saw nearly Rs 494.91 crore as foreign contributions and over Rs 7,183 crore as voluntary contributions.
What Is the PM-CARES Fund?
The PM-CARES Fund was created on 27 March 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
The primary objective of the fund is to deal "with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected.."
According to the website of the fund, it "consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals/organisations and does not get any budgetary support."