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PM CARES FUND is a Public Charitable Trust: SC

pm-cares-fund-is-a-public-charitable-trust-sc

PM CARES FUND is a Public Charitable Trust-SC: The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgment dated 18th August 2020 in the case of Centre for Public Interest Litigation vs. Union of India [W.P. (Civil) No. 546 of 2020] held that the  Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) FUND is a voluntary fund registered as a public charitable trust and is not a Government fund. The contributions made by individuals and institutions in the PM CARES Fund are to be released for a public purpose to fulfil the objective of the trust. The PM CARES Fund is a charitable trust registered under the Registration Act, 1908 at New Delhi on 27.03.2020. The trust does not receive any Budgetary support or any Government money.


It further held that the funds collected in the PM CARES Fund are entirely different funds which are funds of a public charitable trust.


Any individual or institution can contribute to PM cares. It does not get any budgetary support and no government money is credited in the PM Cares Fund.


It further refused to direct the transfer of money collected under the PM CARES Fund set up for COVID-19 relief to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). On contribution to NDRF, the Court said that any person or institution can still make a contribution to the NDRF.


The Supreme Court was hearing a petition for a direction to the government to transfer the contributions made to PM-CARES for COVID-19 to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). The bench, while refusing to direct the transfer of money in PM CARES to disaster response fund, disposed of a petition filed by the NGO - Centre for PIL (CPIL) - seeking to transfer the contributions made to the PM CARES Fund to the NDRF.


How is PM CARES Fund different from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF)


The nature of NDRF and PM CARES Fund is entirely different. 


The NDRF is a statutory fund created under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 whereas PM CARES FUND is a voluntary fund registered as a public charitable trust and is not a Government fund.


Since no government money is credited to PM CARES Fund, an audit by CAG is not mandatory. NDRF is audited by CAG, the PM CARES Fund is audited by only private auditors.


In its judgment, the court held that the existence of PM CARES fund is not a bar to contribute to NDRF. Any contribution or grant of any individual or institution is not prohibited to be credited into the NDRF and it is still open for any person or institution to make a contribution to the NDRF in terms of Section 46(1)(b) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The guidelines for administration of NDRF framed by the Centre in 2010-11 and modified in 2015-16 provide that any grant that may be made by any person or institution for the purpose of disaster management shall be credited into the NDRF.


It was further held that there is no statutory prohibition for the Union of India utilizing the NDRF for providing assistance in the fight of COVID-19 in accordance with the guidelines issued for the administration of NDRF.


The PM CARES Fund was registered on March 27 as a public charitable trust, and announced through a press release issued by the PMO on Saturday, March 28.


PM-CARES Fund has allocated Rs. 3,100 crore to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of this Rs. 3,100 crore, Rs. 2,000 crore was used towards ventilators, Rs. 1,000 crore towards migrants, and Rs. 100 crore towards vaccine development.


Income Tax Deduction and CSR benefits for Contribution to PM CARES Fund


The Income Tax Act, 1961 was amended on March 31, 2020, vide Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 to provide for 100% deduction from the gross total income of the taxpayer for making a donation to the PM CARES Fund.


Before that Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) issued an Office Memorandum dated 28.03.2020 to state that the Government of India had set up the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund) with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation such as that posed by COVID 19 pandemic. 


It further stated that the PM-CARES Fund had been set up to provide relief to those affected by any kind of emergency or distress situation. Accordingly, it is clarified that any contribution made to the PM CARES Fund shall qualify as CSR expenditure under the Companies Act 2013.


On May 27, 2020, MCA amended Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 and inserted the PM CARES Fund into the list as an eligible fund for CSR activities in item serial No. (viii) of Schedule VII after the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF). This amendment has been given retrospective effect from March 28, 2020.


Read and Download the Supreme Court Judgment dated 18.08.2020




Read More on PM CARES FUND

Donation to PM CARES Fund to fight COVID-19

Deduction under section 80G for Donation to PM CARES Fund

Donation to PM CARES FUND and CM Relief Fund qualifies for CSR Expenditure Amid COVID-19

CBDT Clarifies Deduction for Collective Donation to PM CARES FUND under section 80G to Employees through Employer

MCA Clarifies No COVID-19 CSR Expenditure for Contribution to Chief Minister Relief Fund but Allowed for PM CARES Fund and Other CSR Clarifications

How to Contribute to PM CARES FUND

A Guide to PM CARES FUND

PM CARES FUND allocates Rs. 3100 Crore for COVID-19 Relief

MCA Notifies PM CARES FUND as eligible for CSR Expenditure in Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013



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