New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Wednesday questioned how the PM CARES could escape scrutiny when it received contributions from government employees whose pay was cut, from MPLADS funds that were transferred and from the PSUs, which donated their CSR funds.

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday refused to direct the Centre to transfer the contributions made to the PM CARES Fund for battling the COVID-19 pandemic to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), saying these were entirely different funds with separate object and purpose.

“PM CARES escapes scrutiny, even as pay from government employees, MPs was cut to force them to contribute,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted.

Yechury highlighted that 38 public sector undertakings gave Rs 2,105 crore from corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the Fund. “How is this a Fund that escapes audit, scrutiny and is a black box?,” he asked.

Yechury said executive orders were issued to transfer the MPLADS funds for two years — Rs 10 crore of every MP — to this “private trust fund, overriding objections by many”.

“How can this be a voluntary contribution as the Honourable Supreme Court concludes?” he asked.

Executive orders were issued granting tax exemptions to corporates for contributions to this fund from their CSR commitment. Regulations were amended. But the same was denied to the states, Yechury said. “How can this fund not be transparent, auditable & accountable?”

“Now after 140 days the opaqueness of this private trust fund- PM Cares has found legal sanction!,” the CPI(M) leader said, demanding transfer of the fund to the states to combat the pandemic more effectively.

Source : PTI