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PM-CARES fund to have up to 13 eminent experts


NEW DELHI: The PM-CARES Fund can have up to 13 eminent experts, working pro bono, and can undertake relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency or any other emergency, including the creation and upgradation of healthcare facilities, ET has learnt.

The registered trust deed, dated March 27, of PM-CARES Fund states that the prime minister as chairperson of the Trust will have the power to nominate three people to the board of trustees who shall be eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy. The board of trustees also include the defence minister, home minister and finance minister in ex-officio capacity.

There is also a provision to set up an advisory board of not more than 10 persons — selected by the trustees from among the medical practitioners, healthcare professionals, academicians, economists and lawyers.

“The responsibility of the trustees in PM-CARES has been defined, unlike in the Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF). The latter has no provision of an advisory board. PMNRF has the PM, deputy PM, finance minister, Congress president and a representative of the Tata Trusts and industry representative chosen by FICCI, as members of the trust,” a senior official told ET.

A senior BJP functionary said Congress was objecting to PM-CARES because the Congress president had not found a place in it unlike in the PMNRF. “The idea is not to make the PM-CARES fund political in any sense. There is no BJP representation on the PM-CARES fund – people will be on the trust based on their positions in government,” the functionary said.

“PM-CARES’s objectives include undertaking and supporting 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.

PM-CARES will also render financial assistance, provide grants of payments of money or take any such other steps deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees to the affected population,” as per the deed. Both PM-CARES and PMNRF offer 100% income-tax exemption on donations and will accept them from individuals and organisations abroad too.

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