Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ratan Tata, former SC judge among newly appointed trustees of PM CARES Fund

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Eminent personalities, including industrialist and TATA Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, former Supreme Court judge KT Thomas, and former deputy Lok Sabha speaker Kariya Munda have been nominated as trustees of the PM CARES Fund, the government said in an official statement on Wednesday.

The announcement came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the board of trustees meeting that was attended by the newly appointed members, along with Union home minister Amit Shah and finance minister Nirmala Sitharman.

“Prime Minister welcomed the trustees for becoming an integral part of the PM CARES Fund,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. Sitharaman and Shah are the other trustees.

Thomas had hinted to the PMO when he first got the call that it would be difficult for him to be physically present in Delhi due to age-related issues (he is 85 years old), but agreed when PM Modi assured that the meeting will be held online.

“Initially, I said it will be difficult for me to be present in Delhi physically at this age. He (PM Modi) said the meeting will be online. I also expressed my concerns over language. If the meeting would be in Hindi, I would find it difficult to communicate being a south Indian. He assured that the meeting will be in English. One of the agenda (of the meeting) was the creation of the advisory body and the names were suggested from the PMO itself. We approved three names. Out of 14,000 crore that was available in the Fund, a huge amount was spent during the Covid-19 pandemic. The exact amount was shown during the discussion… The balance available in the fund now is around 8,000 crore,” Thomas said.Former Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi, former Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murthy and Teach for India co-founder Anand Shah have been nominated into the advisory board of the Fund.

Prime Minister said that participation of new trustees and advisors will provide wider perspectives to the functioning of the PM CARES Fund,” the statement said.

The trustees acknowledged the contribution made by the fund during crucial times, including the PM CARES for Children scheme that supports 4,345 kids.

“It was discussed that PM CARES has a larger vision on effectively responding to emergency and distress situations, not only through relief assistance, but also taking mitigation measures and capacity building,” it added.

The PM CARES Fund was created as part of emergency relief measures during the Covid-19 pandemic that broke out in 2020. The Prime Minister is the ex-officio chairperson and all contributions are fully exempt from income tax.

Among its initiatives are the PM CARES for Children, launched on May 29 last year to support children who lost both their parents, legal guardians, adoptive parents or surviving parents to the Covid-19 outbreak between 11 March 2020 and 28 February 2022.Ratan Tata, former SC judge among newly appointed trustees of PM CARES Fund


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