APART FROM over Rs 2,400 crore in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds, over 100 PSUs from across sectors have together contributed nearly Rs 155 crore from staff salaries to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund, RTI records accessed by The Indian Express show.
Oil giant ONGC, which gave Rs 29.06 crore to the fund from staff salaries, tops the list of PSUs that responded to RTI queries from The Indian Express. But the contributions also include Rs 11.43 crore from salaries at the ailing BSNL, which was unable to chip in from its CSR funds.
Overall, the RTI responses show, 24 PSUs gave Rs 1 crore or more to the fund from staff salaries.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which manages the fund, had declined to furnish details of the contributions received. “PM CARES Fund is not a public authority under the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act. However, relevant information in respect of PM CARES Fund may be seen on the website pmcares.gov.in,” it said in an RTI response.
The fund was set up on March 28 this year following the Covid outbreak and had a corpus of Rs 3,076.62 crore by March 31 itself, of which Rs 3,075.85 crore were listed as “voluntary contributions”, according to the website.
On August 19, based on RTI responses received till then, The Indian Express first reported that 38 PSUs had used their CSR funds to together contribute over Rs 2,105 crore to the fund, with ONGC again topping with Rs 300 crore.
Until December 4, RTI responses had come in from a total of 121 PSUs, of which 71 said they contributed from both staff salaries and CSR funds. In all, the responses show, 101 PSUs contributed Rs 154.70 crore from salaries and 98 gave a total of Rs 2,422.87 crore from CSR funds.
Since August, RTI responses received by The Indian Express have also revealed contributions of Rs 204.75 crore from seven public banks and other financial institutions, apart from Rs 21.81 crore by several central educational institutions, all from staff salaries.
The latest set of responses show that among the PSUs, Railtel Corporation contributed Rs 5.30 crore from CSR and Rs 15.03 lakh as staff contribution, apart from Rs 6.70 crore as donation under 80G of the I-T Act.
Close on the heels of ONGC at the top is Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which donated Rs 23.99 crore from staff salaries and Rs 225 crore from CSR. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which was second in terms of CSR (Rs 250 crore), is fifth in terms of staff salaries (Rs 7.58 crore).
At the other end of the list, the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation contributed Rs 88,072 from its salaries and Lucknow-based Scooters India Ltd, which manufactures three-wheelers, gave Rs 1.36 lakh.
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