Not only PSUs, academic institutions and public sector banks but also the three armed forces — Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy — have contributed in a big way to the PM-CARES Fund. Together, the three services contributed Rs 203.67 crore from a day’s salary of their personnel.
While the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy provided information to The Indian Express under the RTI Act, the Indian Army did not respond to the RTI application. It did, however, post a Twitter message on May 15 regarding its contribution.
The IAF, in its response dated November 25, stated that a total of Rs 29.18 crore was contributed from April to October “by IAF personnel to PM Cares Fund”.
It provided a monthly break-up of its contribution –April: Rs 25.03 crore; May: Rs 75.24 lakh; June: Rs 1.08 crore; July: Rs 73.93 lakh; August: Rs 61.18 lakh; September: Rs 50.27 lakh; and, October: Rs 46.70 lakh.
The Indian Navy, in its response dated December 9, stated that between April and October, a total of Rs 12.41 crore was contributed to PM-CARES Fund “in respect of officers and sailors” and Rs 4.36 crore “in respect of civilian personnel” of the Navy. The Integrated Headquarters under the Ministry of Defence (Navy) stated that “Contribution made from other heads is not available with the concerned directorate”.
The Indian Army did not respond to the RTI application, but its ADG PI (Additional Directorate General of Public Information) tweeted on May 15: “#IndianArmy personnel have voluntarily contributed Rs 157.71 Crores as one day salary for Apr 2020 towards #Nation’s fight against #COVID-19 pandemic to #PMCARES fund.”
On March 29, a press release from the Ministry of Defence, issued by the Press Information Bureau, stated: “Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal for the contribution of one day salary by the employees of Ministry of Defence to the PM-CARES Fund to fight Covid-19. It is estimated that around Rs 500 crore will be collectively provided by the Defence Ministry to the fund from various wings, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Defence PSUs and others. The employees’ contribution is voluntary and those desirous of opting out will be exempted.”
It was tweeted the same day by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar who said “Min of Defence, Armed Forces, Attached offices, Defence PSUs/Organizations come forward to donate One day salary to PM CARES Fund on voluntary basis. From salary of April/May 2020 ~Rs 500 crores to PM CARES Fund.”
Earlier, RTI responses showed contributions of Rs 204.75 crore from seven public banks and other financial institutions including Reserve Bank of India, apart from Rs 21.81 crore by several central educational institutions, all from staff salaries. A total of 101 PSUs contributed Rs 154.70 crore from salaries while 98 contributed a total of Rs 2,422.87 crore from CSR funds.