InvestorQ : What is the difference between a PM relief fund and a PM care fund? Also, it is audited by the CAG?
Aishwarya Nimbalkar made post

What is the difference between a PM relief fund and a PM care fund? Also, it is audited by the CAG?

2 years ago
The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund - or the PM Cares Fund - and the already established Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) have similar characteristics except for slight differences in their mandates and visible differences in their setup. 

The PMNRF was set up in 1948 following an appeal by the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, to support people displaced from Pakistan. Over the years, PMNRF resources are being used to provide relief to families of victims killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones, earthquakes, etc and also to victims of major accidents and riots. The fund is also used to meet expenses related to treatments like – heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment, acid attack, etc.

On the other hand, the PM CARES fund was announced on 28th Mar 2020 amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The PM Cares fund mentions that is available during a public health emergency, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the up-gradation of pharmaceutical and healthcare facilities, funding research, and during any other emergency and calamities.

Since its inception, the fund has attracted a lot of skepticism and queries. Some of the most common queries relate to the rationale for constituting a new fund when a national fund to provide disaster relief already exists and that too with the considerable corpus. And as per the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 issued by Finance Ministry on 31st Mar 2020, donations made to ‘PM CARES’ fund would be 100% tax-exempt under Section 80(G). Furthermore, as per a Memorandum of Corporate Affairs Ministry, any contributions made to PM CARES fund would qualify as CSR expenditure of companies.

Since it is a public charitable trust with voluntary donations and does not receive any government support, no CAG audit is required for PM CARES fund. In the case of PMNRF, the guidelines issued by the central government as per DM Act specifically provide for an audit of the NRF by CAG. Currently, both the funds are audited by an independent auditor. At present, M/S SARC Associates Chartered Accountants audits both the funds.