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World

Modi's $1 billion coronavirus fund faces controversy due to lack of transparency

  • Irked by BJP-led government's non-serious behaviour over disclosing facts, people filed several petitions in Indian courts under the Right to Information Act seeking more checks and balances
30 Jun 2020

(Karachi) A fund set up by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fight coronavirus is now engulfed in controversy due to lack of transparency and checks, BBC reported on Tuesday.

As per details, on March 27, Modi set up the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (The PM Cares Fund).

The Indian PM asked people to donate in the fund and contribute generously. Believing in the Modi's appeal, donations poured in from industrialists, celebrities, companies and the common man and within a week, donations reportedly reached 65 billion rupees. The fund has now exceeded 100 billion rupees.

However, when people in India witnessed that the fund is not being used for any purpose let alone controlling the Covid-19 situation, they started raising questions over transparency of the fund.

They asked the need for a new fund when a similar one - PM National Relief Fund or PMNRF - existed in the country since 1948 to deal with natural disasters and epidemics. The Indian government failed to satisfy its people and answer their queries.

Irked by BJP-led government's non-serious behaviour over the matter, people filed several petitions in Indian courts under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking more transparencychecks and balances. But so far, scrutiny of the fund could not be carried out as the government is reluctant to disclose where and how the funds were spent, if utilized.

The Indian government tried to hide the facts by saying that PM Cares is not a "public authority".