Industrialist Ratan Tata, former Supreme Court judge KT Thomas and former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda have been nominated as trustees of the PM-CARES Fund, the prime minister’s office said on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, or the PM-CARES FUND, was established on March 27, 2020 with the stated objective of being a dedicated national fund to deal with “any kind of emergency or distress situation” in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the fund’s board of trustees. He is the chairperson of the PM-CARES Fund trust.
“A presentation was made on the various initiatives undertaken with the help of PM-CARES Fund, including the PM-CARES for Children scheme which is supporting 4345 children,” the prime minister’s office said in a release.
Meanwhile, the trust also decided to nominate former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Rajiv Mehrishi, former Infosys Foundation Chairperson Sudha Murthy and Teach for India co-founder Anand Shah to the fund’s advisory board.
Modi said that the participation of the new trustees and advisors “will provide wider perspectives to the functioning of the PM-CARES Fund”.
However, the fund has been the subject of criticism from Opposition parties, who have raised questions about its transparency, and have questioned the need to create the reserve when Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund already existed.
In December 2020, the Centre had said in a reply to a Right to Information application that the fund was “owned and established” by the government. The government, however, said that it does not come under the RTI Act because it receives funds from private sources.