New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was established with public contributions to assist displaced persons from Pakistan on an appeal by Jawaharlal Nehru in his capacity as Prime Minister of India in 1948.
At the outset Nehru announced that he was establishing the fund called “The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund” and invited donations to this Fund.
Even though the fund (PMNRF) was not covered by the Union Budget, the fact that it had been set up by the Prime Minister and was named after the Prime Minister, a wrong precedent had been set by including the Congress President as a member of the Managing Committee appointed for running this fund by Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India
PMNRF has not been constituted by the Parliament. The fund is recognized as a Trust under the Income Tax Act and the same is managed by Prime Minister or multiple delegates for national causes. PMNRF operates from the Prime Minister’s Office, South Block, New Delhi-110011 and does not pays any license fee. PMNRF is exempt under Income Tax Act, 1961 under Section 10 and 139 for return purposes. Contributions towards PMNRF are notified for 100% deduction from taxable income under section 80(G) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Prime Minister is the Chairman of PMNRF.
Obviously since PMNRF has the dubious legacy of having the Congress President as it’s managing trustee from day one, the need was felt to set up a separate fund for extending relief in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic. This led to the creation of The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund), which was created on 28 March 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will be used for combating, containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic like situations in the future.
The Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund and Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.
The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees (Prime Minister) shall have the power to nominate three trustees to the Board of Trustees who shall be eminent persons in the field of research, health, science, social work, law, public administration and philanthropy.
Any person appointed a Trustee shall act in a pro bono capacity.