Congress slams Union govt over PM CARES fund, demands account of foreign donations

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala demanded that the details of the funds received by PM CARES till now be made public.
Randeep Surjewala
Randeep Surjewala
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The Congress attacked the Union government over the PM CARES Fund on Wednesday and demanded an account of the foreign donations received by it. Chief spokesperson of the opposition party Randeep Surjewala demanded probity, saying the fund be made accountable and the details of the money received by it be made public.

"The intriguing case of 'foreign donations', including from China, Pakistan and Qatar to #PMCaresFund! 

"Questions to PM - Why did Indian Embassies publicise and receive donation to PM Cares Fund? Why was the Fund advertised on banned Chinese apps?" he asked in a series of tweets.

Surjewala also sought to know how much money was received by the fund from Pakistan and Qatar and who donated that money. "How many thousand CR were received in Fund from 27 foreign countries?" he asked.

"Why were the 27 Indian Embassies advertising the Fund through 'Closed Channels, not in Public Domain', when Fund is not a 'Public Authority' within RTI?" he asked.

The Congress leader also sought to know why the fund has been exempted from a preview of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) by the government.

"Isn't it the only exception in India for a charitable trust? Why this Special treatment? Why is the Fund then not a 'Public Authority'? Why is Fund not audited by CAG or GOI and report made public as substantial foreign donations were received?" he asked.

Meanwhile, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday walked out of a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence, accusing the panel of wasting time by discussing uniforms instead of Chinese aggression and national security, sources said.

According to sources, Rahul Gandhi tried to raise the issue of Chinese aggression and better equipping the soldiers on the borders with China in Ladakh, but he was not allowed to speak by the committee's Chairman Jual Oram.

The sources claimed that the committee was discussing the uniforms of the three armed forces in the presence of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, when Rahul Gandhi tried to intervene saying that the time of the panel was being wasted by discussing uniforms instead of Chinese aggression on the borders and equipping the armed forces personnel in a better way.

The sources said that as he was not allowed to speak, the Congress leader walked out of the meeting. Two other Congress members, Rajiv Satav and Revanth Reddy, also left the meeting along with him.

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