Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on April 24 that he would give one month’s salary to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund because of the coronavirus. Apart from Om Birla, donations are being made to this fund by the general public, MPs, MLAs and industrialists to ensure financial support to combat the global disaster like Coronavirus.
- Talking about India, about 550 people have been infected by the Coronavirus in the country so far and 10 people have died.
What is Prime Minister’s, Relief Fund?
- The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund was set up in January 1948 on the appeal of the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to help the displaced people from Pakistan with public contributions.
- Only voluntary contributions from an individual and an institution are accepted in the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. Contributions from government budget sources or balance sheets of public sector undertakings are not accepted. The Prime Minister appeals to contribute to this fund at the time of catastrophic level natural disaster. Conditional grants in which the donor mentions that the grant amount is for a specific purpose are not accepted.
- The funds of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund are now used primarily to provide immediate relief to the families of those killed in natural disasters like floods, cyclones and earthquakes etc. and to victims of major accidents and riots.
- Apart from this, assistance is also provided for the treatment of heart surgery, kidney transplant, cancer etc. The fund is made up of public contributions only and does not receive any budgetary support.
- The entire fund is invested in various forms in scheduled commercial banks and other institutions. The funds from the fund are disbursed with the approval of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund has not been formed by the Parliament.
- The fund of this fund is treated as a trust under the Income Tax Act and is managed by the Prime Minister or various nominated officials for national purposes. The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is operated from the Prime Minister’s Office, South Block, New Delhi.
- The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is exempted from filing income tax returns under sections 10 and 139 of the Income Tax Act 1961. The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and the officers/employees assist him in its operations on an unpaid basis. Contributions made to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund are notified for complete exemption from taxable income under Section 80 (g) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.