‘PM-CARES funds cannot go to NDRF’

PM-CARES Fund is a “public charitable trust” to which “anyone can contribute”. It is a “misconception” that contributions received by a public trust like PM-CARES can be transferred to a statutory fund like the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), the government maintained in the Supreme Court on Monday.

The government was responding to a bunch of petitions, including one from the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, represented by senior advocate Dushyant Dave and advocate Prashant Bhushan, to transfer funds from PM-CARES to the NDRF to help fight the pandemic.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, Mr. Dave argued that PM-CARES is not subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Contributions to it are “100% tax free”. The court reserved the case for judgment.

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