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Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF)

Topics Covered: Disaster and disaster management.

Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF)

What to study?

For Prelims: Funding mechanism, contributions, administration and proceeds.

For Mains: Need for and significance of PMNRF.

Context: The Vice President of India and the Chairman Rajya Sabha, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has contributed a sum equivalent to a month’s salary to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to strengthen the government’s efforts in combating COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

What is PMNRF? When was it setup?

In pursuance of an appeal by the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in January, 1948, the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was established with public contributions to assist displaced persons from Pakistan.

  • The resources of the PMNRF are now utilized primarily to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, etc. and to the victims of the major accidents and riots.
  • Assistance from PMNRF is also rendered, to partially defray the expenses for medical treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment, etc.

Key features:

  1. Disbursements are made with the approval of the Prime Minister.
  2. PMNRF has not been constituted by the Parliament.
  3. The fund is recognized as a Trust under the Income Tax Act and the same is managed by Prime Minister or multiple delegates for national causes.
  4. PMNRF is exempt under Income Tax Act.
  5. Prime Minister is the Chairman of PMNRF and is assisted by Officers/ Staff on honorary basis.
  6. These contributions also qualify as CSR (corporate social responsibility) spend for companies, making it more attractive in terms of tax exemptions.

How are the surplus funds of PMNRF deployed?

In general, funds are either disbursed immediately or they are committed for specific purposes.The balance of the funds invested in various forms with scheduled commercial banks and other agencies to ensure long term sustainability.

Type of contributions accepted in PMNRF:

  1. PMNRF accepts only voluntary donations by individuals and institutions.
  2. Contributions flowing out of budgetary sources of Government or from the balance sheets of the public sector undertakings are not accepted.
  3. At the time of natural calamity of devastating scale, Prime Minister, makes an appeal for donation to the fund.

Sources: pib.