PM CARES Fund was set up on March 28 with the Prime Minister as the chairperson.
The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations or PM CARES Fund, formed amid the coronavirus crisis to be a war chest for national crises, will not be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), sources told NDTV on Friday.
"Since the fund is based on donations of individuals and organisations, we have no right to audit the charitable organisation," sources in the CAG offices said.
The PM CARES trust, formed by the cabinet on March 28, has Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its chairperson and senior cabinet members as trustees.
"Unless the trustees ask us to audit, we will not be auditing the accounts," a senior official in the CAG said.
According to the government, the PM CARES Fund will be audited by "independent auditors who will be appointed by the trustees".
Since the coronavirus outbreak, there have been several appeals from the Prime Minister, corporates and noted public figures to contribute to the fund.
Recently, the Cabinet Secretary had urged secretaries to ask all its officials, public sector undertakings and others to contribute to the PM CARES Fund.
However, opposition parties have raised questions about the necessity of the Fund when the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) already exists since 1948.
Several Chief Ministers have also raised questions and doubts over the preference to the PM CARES fund over their state relief funds.
According to sources, the PMNRF is not audited by the CAG either but it has not stopped the government's auditor from asking questions about how the money was used when it provided for relief after the 2013 Uttarakhand floods.
International organisations like the World Health Organisations or WHO, which are dependent on contributions from countries, too have their accounts audited. The WHO is currently being checked by India's CAG for the next four years.
The PM CARES Fund, which accepts tax-free donations from individuals and corporates, has seen several high-profile contributions from almost all major industrial groups, movie stars and government departments.
Coronavirus has spread to 200 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 67,69,14,137 and 68,83,085 have died; 62,55,69,487 are active cases and 4,44,61,565 have recovered as on July 17, 2023 at 10:18 am.
In India, there are 4,49,94,921 confirmed cases including 5,31,915 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,441 and 4,44,61,565 have recovered as on July 14, 2023 at 8:00 am.
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