Chidambaram questions why PM, ministers are Trustees of PM CARES if it is not set up by Centre
New Delhi, Aug 21: Days after the Supreme Court ruled that the PM Cares Fund is a public charitable trust and there cannot be an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday questioned why the Prime Minister and three ministers serving as Trustees in the fund if it was not set up by the Central government.
Accusing the BJP government of shielding the fund from scrutiny, the Congress leader asked why donations to the fund are counted against CSR if it is privately established. He asked if donations to other privately-established funds will also be counted against CSR.
Taking to Twitter, Chidambaram said, "Was the Fund set up by the Central government as concluded by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs? If not, who set up the Fund and in what capacity? If the Fund was not set up by the central government, why are the PM and three Ministers serving as Trustees? Who appointed them as Trustees?"
"If the Fund is a private established fund, why are donations to the Fund counted against CSR? Will donations to other privately-established funds be also counted against CSR?" he asked.
Referring to reports that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs had amended the norms allowing corporate contributions to the PM Cares Fund to qualify as CSR spending under the companies law, Chidambaram asked "who authorised MCA to make a retrospective amendment to the Schedule to the Companies Act inserting the name of PM-CARES Fund in the Schedule?"
"Will MCA insert the names of other privately-established funds in the said Schedule to the Companies Act? The retrospective amendment in favour of a privately established fund is obviously an act of favouritism and discriminatory. It will be challenged," Chidambaram said.
Also, the Congress leader alleged that it is "abundantly clear that the BJP government is making desperate efforts to shield PM-CARES Fund from any kind of scrutiny".