Editorial

PM CARES needs audit by CAG, public audit through RTI

The PM CARES Fund is shrouded in secrecy and demanded answers on why it has no transparency or accountability and not subjected to any audit or RTI even though 60 per cent of its funds are received from public sector companies.

Is the nation leading towards dictatorship ? Nation demands transparency in public money. The subjects of this nation demand the accountability in the Fund, which gets donations to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore from General Public and it should be submitted to Right to Information (RTI) and supported by legal sanctity, if PM Narendra Modi still claims that he is going by the Constitution of India in letter and spirit.

There are allegation that the Fund, which has received nearly 60 per cent of the funds from public sector undertakings with major government holding, is in violation of constitutional norms as the top office of the country is “collecting money” without any legal sanction and the Parliamentary sanctions.

The crucial controversies surrounding the PM CARES Fund prove that it was set up by a highly uncaring government, by an uncaring ruling party and prime minister. Sixty per cent of the total contribution to PM CARES comes from government-run and government-owned firms, including ONGC, NTPC, IOC. The ‘C’ in PM CARES stands for coercion, chaos, confusion and corruption and why does PM Narendra is feeling shy in making its usage public.

Another question comes to anybody review that whether any government of the state raise large sums of money without any legislative sanction? But, here the highest executive office in the government is receiving Rs 5,000 crore without any legal sanction… Where is the accountability, where is the tracking?.

Noting that there are issues which are vital and important in the matter, “the transparency and audit is zero, there is a clear conflict of interest. This is unacceptable and it is violative of constitutional principles and abuse of power and utter misuse of public money on RSS and BJP party’s needs.

The PM CARES is a trust and one of the reasons why it is kept out of this accountability parameters is the ground that it does not receive any budgetary support from the government.

Look at the irony that like the CAG, RTI, government terms on the ground that there is no budgetary support and yet government-owned or controlled companies like the Navratna and Mini Ratna companies are the principle donors.

This entire fund is shrouded in secrecy, as alleged by Bahujana Rashtriya Samithi (BRS) President Advocate MA Mujeeb who is asking why the fund is not disclosing who are its donors and on whom has the money been given to.

The fund should voluntarily subject itself to scrutiny and the RTI and CAG audit should be conducted on it as public funds are going into it through the PSU companies.

After six years, why have you not come out with a white paper on it? Where is the money being spent, why don’t you tell the world what is the criterion being adopted for deployment of funds? Why is it not disclosed? If you divert any amount of money, is it not a cruel joke on the taxpayer? We should get answers,” as the BRS Chief asked at a round table conference.

Why did Narendra Modi government not take support from the legislature to grant legal sanctity to the fund. It is yet another question that comes to any responsible citizen’s mind.

Does not the Constitutional morality require morality of law? Why not to subject it to voluntarily to CAG audit and what is there to hide?

There is an urgent need to conduct a CAG audit of the PM CARES Fund. It is amounting to yet another fraud next to Narendra Modi Government’s giving colour as to the RSS’s Benami Transactions in case of Adani, these are yet nothing but “fraud and a farce”.

Unfortunately, a division bench of the High Court had dealt with the matter and one of the learned judges, Justice Ravindra Bhatt, now in the Supreme Court held that this fund is subject to RTI. There is a just need for the judiciary to come out with a clear verdict on the issue as the public funds were involved. Let us concern about the exchequer that we are not under dictator’s rule but need to audit each and every abuse by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government’s rank and file.