The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued a notification that contributions to the PM CARES Fund will be considered as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of companies.
“In Schedule VII, item (viii), after the words “Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund”, the words – or Prime Minister’s Citzen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund shall be inserted” a Corporate Affairs notification dated May 26 said.
This notification shall be deemed to have come into force on 28, March, 2020, it added.
Prior to this, only the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund was eligible to receive CSR funding.
Keeping in mind the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, a public charitable trust under the name of ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund)’ was set up.
• To undertake and support relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency or any other kind of emergency, calamity or distress, either man-made or natural, including the creation or upgradation of healthcare or pharmaceutical facilities, other necessary infrastructure, funding relevant research or any other type of support.
• To render financial assistance, provide grants of payments of money or take such other steps as may be deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees to the affected population.
• To undertake any other activity, which is not inconsistent with the above Objects.
Constitution of the Trust
• Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund and Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.
• The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees (Prime Minister) shall have the power to nominate three trustees to the Board of Trustees who shall be eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy.
• Any person appointed a Trustee shall act in a pro bono capacity.
• The fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals/organizations and does not get any budgetary support. The fund will be utilised in meeting the objectives as stated above.
• Donations to PM CARES Fund would qualify for 80G benefits for 100% exemption under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Donations to PM CARES Fund will also qualify to be counted as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure under the Companies Act, 2013
• PM CARES Fund has also got exemption under the FCRA and a separate account for receiving foreign donations has been opened and it will be made operational soon. This will enable PM CARES Fund to accept donations and contributions from individuals and organizations based in foreign countries. This is consistent with respect to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). PMNRF has also received foreign contributions as a public trust since 2011.