Opposition leaders questioned the setting up of the PM CARES Fund to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) is already in existence.


  1. Some critics pointed out that money was lying ‘unspent’ in the PMNRF. The PMNRF has an unspent balance of ₹3,800 crore as of December 16, 2019.

  2. Opposition leaders questioned why couldn’t #COVID19 donations go to PMNRF? Why was PM CARE created? Why are PM & 3 ministers members of this trust without any opposition or civil society leaders? 

Important Info : Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF)?

  • Background: In pursuance of an appeal by the then PM Nehru in January, 1948, the PMNRF was established with public contributions to assist displaced persons from Pakistan.

  • Present usage:

  • The resources of the PMNRF are now utilized 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.

  • Since 2016, Financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh is provided to the acid attack victims from the Fund.

  • Funding:

  • PMNRF accepts only voluntary donations by individuals and institutions and does not get any budgetary support.

  • Conditional contributions, where the donor specifically mentions that the amount is meant for a particular purpose, are not accepted in the Fund.

  • All contributions towards the PMNRF are exempted from Income Tax under Section 80(G).

  • Status: PMNRF has not been constituted by the Parliament. The fund is recognized as a Trust under the Income Tax Act.

  • Administration:

  • The Prime Minister heads the Fund. Disbursements are made with the approval of the Prime Minister. PMNRF operates from the Prime Minister’s Office, South Block, New Delhi.

  • The fund is administered on an Honorary basis by Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister as Secretary of the fund. 

Source : The Hindu

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