Prime Minister Narendra Modi donated ₹2.25 lakh from his own pocket as the "initial corpus" to the PM CARES Fund soon after it was created, officials in the Prime Minister's Office said on September 3.
"PM Modi has a long legacy of contributing to public causes ranging from girl child education to work on cleaning the Ganga to welfare of the underprivileged. These donations have now exceeded ₹103 crore," the official said.
Ever since the creation of the PM cares fund to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Congress and others parties have questioned the legal validity of PM CARES Fund and questioned the need for it, at a time when a similar Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) is in place.
There has been a lot of clamour around corporate social responsibility benefits denied to contributions to state disaster relief funds.
The PM Cares Fund is a voluntary fund registered as a public charitable trust to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court said in August. The centre has also defended the Fund, saying it is a "voluntary fund while budgetary allocations take care of other disaster response funds".
In 2019, PM Modi donated ₹21 lakh from his personal savings to a corpus fund set up for the welfare of sanitation workers at the Kumbh Mela held in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj.
After receiving the Seoul Peace Prize in South Korea, PM Modi donated the entire prize amount to ₹1.3 crore for cleaning of river Ganga.
"He donated another ₹3.40 crore fetched in an auction of his mementoes to the river-cleaning mission, PMO officials said. ₹8.35 crore raised in an auction of gifts PM Modi had received in 2015 also went to the Namame Ganga Mission," the officials said.
After completing his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, PM Modi had donated ₹21 lakh from his own savings for the education of daughters of Gujarat government staff.
"He raised ₹89.96 crore by auctioning all the gifts he received while he was chief minister and donated this to the Kanya Kelavani Fund," the officials added.
The PM CARES fund received 3,076 crore in five days, as per an audit statement made public by the government. The statement, however, only mentions donations between March 27, when the fund was created and March 31.
The audit statement was uploaded on the PM CARES fund website but the details of the domestic and foreign contributors have not been disclosed by the government in public.
Former Finance Minister Chidambaram questioned why the names of "these generous donors" were not revealed.