Ratan Tata, Justice KT Thomas and former Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, Kariay Munda, have joined PM CARES (Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation) fund as trustees.

They attended the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Fund on Tuesday, which was chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the fund, while the Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Ministers are ex-officio trustees of the Fund. The fund was set up on March 27, 2020, when the pandemic hit India.

It has also been decided to nominate Rajiv Mehrishi (Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India), Sudha Murthy, (Former Chairperson, Infosys Foundation) and Anand Shah (Co-founder of Teach for India and former CEO of Indicorps and Piramal Foundation) for the constitution of an advisory board to the fund.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, during the meeting, a presentation was made on the various initiatives undertaken, including the PM CARES for Children scheme, which supports 4,345 children. Trustees appreciated the role played by the fund at a crucial time for the country. PM Narendra Modi appreciated the people of the country for contributing wholeheartedly to PM CARES Fund.

It was discussed that PM CARES has a larger vision on effectively responding to emergency and distress situations, not only through relief assistance, but also mitigation measures and capacity building.

Prime Minister said that participation of new trustees and advisors will provide wider perspectives to the functioning of the PM CARES Fund. Their vast experience of public life would impart further vigour in making the fund more responsive to various public needs, added the statement.

The fund aims 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.

The Fund consists entirely of voluntary contributions from individuals/organizations and does not get any budgetary support. Donations would qualify for 100 per cent 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. During 2020-21, ₹7,013.99 crore was collected under PM CARES Fund and ₹3,076.62 crore in 2019-20.

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