Criticising the Centre for refusing to disclose details on the PM CARES Fund, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said her government has nothing to hide on the donations it has received. She said her government has so far got Rs 190 crore to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and for Amphan relief.
She said the state government has released Rs 6,500 crore and more will be required. It has received public donations of around Rs 150 crore for tackling COVID-19 and Rs 40 crore for Amphan relief, she told reporters at the state secretariat.
“We have nothing to hide on how much we have received. We are not shying away from talking about it,” she said in a veiled attack against the PMO’s refusal to disclose details on the creation and operation of the PM CARES Fund, telling a RTI applicant that the fund is not a public authority under the ambit of the RTI Act, 2005.
The Prime Ministers Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund was set up to accept donations and provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and other similar emergencies.
“We have used whatever assistance we have received from the common people for their cause. I can assure that the fund will be used in a very transparent manner by the government for public purpose and not for any other cause,” Banerjee, who is among the harshest critics of the BJP-led government at the Centre, said.
“I thank the common people for helping us with this fund. I have seen that people have helped us with donations of Rs 50 for COVID-19,” she said.
On Monday opposition party Congress also questioned the credibility of PM CARES fund after Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted, “Why has PM Modi received Chinese money in the PM-CARES fund, despite the overt Chinese hostilities? Has PM received Rs 7 crore from the controversial company Huawei ? Does Huawei have a direct connection with People’s Liberation Army of China? Has the Chinese company owning TikTok facilitated a donation of Rs 30 crore to the controversial PM CARES Fund?”
“In last few days we have given you maps, points, locations, satellite images, photos but answer has only been Rajiv Gandhi foundation. I am deliberately making a statement which I need not and I dare PM, government and ruling party to falsify my next statement,” he further said in another tweet.