In an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a group of 100 retired civil servants have flagged a lack of transparency in the PM Cares Fund, asking for the financial details of receipts and expenditures to be made public.
The retired bureaucrats, including S C Behar, K Sujatha Rao and A S Dulat, said the purpose for which the fund was created as well as the way it has been administered have left a number of questions unanswered.
They said the immediate cause for the letter was the refusal to divulge details under RTI “on the grounds that the PM Cares Fund is not a Public Authority under the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005”. “If it is not a public authority, how have the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Defence Minister and Finance Minister, as members of the government, lent their designations and official positions to it? Why are they Trustees in their official capacity …” they asked.
Lamenting the “clear absence of transparency in every aspect of the Fund, the retired civil servants said this opacity was “disturbing” as states governments handling the challenges of the pandemic “were, and continue to be, sorely in need of financial assistance”.