The govt of India today announced that Rs 3100 crore has been allocated to the fight against Coronavirus from the money collected by the PM CARES fund by the trust managing the fund. Out of Rs 3100 crore, a sum of approximately Rs.2000 crore will be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, Rs. 1000 crores will be used for care of migrant labourers and Rs.100 crores will be given to support vaccine development.
A statement issued by the central govt said that 50000 ‘Made-in-India’ ventilators will be purchased from using the money collected at PM CARES Fund at a cost of approximately Rs. 2,000 Crores. These ventilators will be provided to government run COVID hospitals in all States/UTs, for better treatment of the critical COVID-19 cases. This will help in augmenting the infrastructure to tackle the Coronavirus cases across the country.
In addition to that, the states and Union Territory govts will be given a lumpsum assistance of totalRs. 1000 Crore from PM CARES Fund. This amount would be provided to the State Governments/UTs to place it at the disposal of the District Collectors/Municipal Commissioners for strengthening their efforts in providing accommodation facilities, making food arrangements, providing medical treatment and making transportation arrangements of the migrants returning to their home states. The state/UT wise funds will be released on the weightage of population of the State/UT as per 2011 Census (50% weightage), number of positive COVID-19 cases as on date (40% weightage) and Equal share (10% weightage) for all states/UTs to ensure basic minimum sum for all states. The fund will be released to the District Collector/District Magistrate/Municipal Commissioner through the State Disaster Relief Commissioner of the States/UTs concerned.
Rs 100 crore from the PM CARES will be used to support the efforts to develop vaccines against Novel Coronavirus. The fund will be provided to Indian academia, start-ups and industry who have come together in the effort of cutting-edge vaccine design and development. It will given as a helping hand to catalyse vaccine development, which will be utilized under the supervision of Principal Scientific Advisor.
PM CARES Fund Trust was formed on 27th March this year to receive public donations to fight emergencies or distresses like the current Covid-19 pandemic. Prime Minister is the Chairman of this trust, and its members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.
After the PM CARES fund was set up by the government, opposition parties and a section of left liberal intellectuals had launched a campaign against it, alleging that the fund will be misused as it will not be audited by the CAG. Congress president Sonia Gandhi had demanded that the entire money collected in the fund should be transferred to the PM National Relief fund, where the Congress president a trust member as per resolution of formation of the fund. The PMNRF is also not audited by the CAG, as both the fund do not receive any taxpayers’ money, but accepts only voluntary donations.