Are Sonu Sood’s Claims As Transparent As Modi’s PM Cares Fund?

Actor Sonu Sood released an official statement on media platforms last week after the Tax Authority searched his offices and residence.

He stated in the tweet that he did not need to share “his side of the tale.” Sonu further stated that every rupee donated by his charity is used to help the destitute or to save a life. He also requested that manufacturers contribute his endorsement earnings to charities. He also stated that he was unable to assist individuals for a few days due to “guests”, but that he will return to assist those in need.

However, can you trust PM Cares Funds as you can actor Sonu Sood’s claim?

Taking into consideration the use of a priority action fund with the primary goal of dealing with any urgent situation or anguish situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing relief to those impacted, a public charitable organization known as the ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Cases Fund’ (PM CARES Fund) has been established.Sonu sood

Who are the notable Chairmen for PM Care Fund?

The Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund, and the Ministers of Defence, Home Affairs, and Financial Services of the Indian government are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.

As Position Chairman of the Trustees of the PM CARES Fund, the prime minister has the authority to appoint three trustees to the Board who must be distinguished individuals in the areas of research, healthcare, technology, human services, legal, public service, and philanthropy. The Trustees of the PM CARES Funds all work on a pro gratis basis.

On March 28, the Prime Minister‘s Citizen Assistance and Aid in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund was established by the centre to deal with any type of emergency scenario, such as the one currently posed by the epidemic, and to provide relief to people impacted. The Prime Minister serves as the fund‘s ex-officio chairperson, and the security, home, and finance ministers serve as ex-officio trustees.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is barandbench%2F2021-03%2Fec418bae-878b-4424-91a8-4b5eeed529f4%2Fpm_cares.jpg

“Transparency is emphasised in the PM-CARES Fund, both in terms of legal requirements and in the transparent administration of monies collected voluntarily… Inappropriate designation of the PM CARES fund has occurred in both the high and supreme courts”, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made the above statement.

Congress and others have criticized the fund’s legality as well as its necessity, citing the comparable Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

Issues have also been expressed about the denial of corporate social responsibility advantages to contributions to state disaster relief funds, as well as the fact that the fund is not audited by the Office of The Auditor General of India.

The government has justified the PM CARES Fund, claiming that it is a voluntary fund, with budgetary provisions covering the crisis response fund. It stated that the existence of the latter did not preclude the establishment of the PM Cares Fund for charity contributions.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 179734-pm-careweb.jpg

The government has justified the PM CARES Fund, claiming that it is a voluntary fund, with budgetary provisions covering the crisis response fund. It stated that the existence of the latter did not preclude the establishment of the PM Cares Fund for charity contributions.

The government’s proposal to make contributions to the PM CARES fund further appealing by offering a 100 per cent tax exemption on donations under Section 80G of the Income Tax Regulations is likely to assist in mop-up resources for the fund set up specifically for disasters like the coronavirus outbreak. 

What are the PM CARES Fund Trustee’s goals?

The key goals of the PM CARES Fund Trust are as follows:

  • To initiate and aid relief or government aid of any kind relating to a public health emergency or some other kind of case of emergencies, calamity, or distress, whether man-made or natural, including the establishment or improvement of healthcare or pharmaceutical facilities, other necessary infrastructure, funding relevant research, or any other type of services.
  • To give financial assistance, corporate social responsibility and financial services, or take any other steps considered critical by the Board of Trustees to aid the afflicted people.
  • To engage in any other behaviour that is not incompatible with the preceding Objects.

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What are the Trustees’ obligations?

The Trustees are in charge of the following:

  1. Achieving the Trustee’s objectives
  2. Monitoring the donation procedure to guarantee that the Trustee property is used properly.
  3. Creating and delivering all required filings, accounts, and returns under relevant regulations.

Tax deduction 

The PM CARES Fund was founded as a government authority, and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs declared the next day that contributions to the organization would indeed be qualified as corporate social responsibility (CSR) donations, allowing corporations to claim tax deductions on donations to the Fund. In March 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs declared that contributions would be considered to be part of the corporations’ mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligation, with additional CSR offset in the following years.

To correct the legality of the original exemption, the Ministry of Executive Officer revised the relevant schedule to the Companies Act 2013, allowing CSR donations to funds that were not set up by The Government of India. The change was made with retroactive impact to reflect any money donated before the modification. According to information received by the Huffington Post under the Right to Information Act, the exemptions were made at the request of Bhaskar Kulbe, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s advisor.

Because the Companies Act 2013 only permitted CSR exclusions for financing created by the government for socio-economic development and relief work, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs issued a notification in March 2020 enabling exemptions for the PM CARES Fund, mentioning that this was a Central Government-established public fund. Former regulations for contributions to similar efforts, such as the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, prohibited CSR exemptions, which a state council characterized as granting the very same tax advantages twice, resulting in a “regressive incentive.”

Contributions to state government initiatives and other federal relief funds, such as the Prime Minister’s National Charity Fund or Chief Minister’s Funds, are not eligible for the CSR deduction.

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