Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday slammed the Central government for not revealing the names of the donors of PM CARES FUND and questioned “Why are the trustees afraid” to do so.“The auditors of PM CARES FUND have confirmed that the Fund received Rs 3,076 crore in just 5 days between March 26 and 31, 2020,” he said in a tweet.

“But the names of these generous donors will not be revealed. Why? Every other NGO or Trust is obliged to reveal the names of donors contributing more than a threshold amount. Why is the PM CARES FUND exempt from this obligation? The donee is known. The trustees of the donee are known. Why are the trustees afraid to reveal the names of the donors?,” the Congress leader said in another tweet.

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.Last month, the Supreme Court had said that the money collected under the PM-CARES Fund for the coronavirus pandemic need not be transferred to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). It said that the funds collected by the PM-CARES Fund are those of charitable trusts and “entirely different”. The government is free to transfer money to the disaster response fund if it feels it is appropriate to do so, the top court said.

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PM-CARES or the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund was set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March to “deal with emergency or distress situations like the coronavirus pandemic”. It is managed by a trust with PM Modi as its chairperson and senior cabinet members as trustees.

Shrikar K Pardeshi, Joint Secretary in the PMO, has signed the audit statement on behalf of PM-CARES Fund as “Secretary” while Gujarat cadre IAS Officer Hardik Shah, the Private Secretary to PM Modi, has signed the statement as Deputy Secretary of the Fund.