As per data accessed by NDTV, 64 per cent of ₹10,990 crore collected by the PM CARES Fund between March 27, 2020 and March 31, 2021 was unutilised. The PM CARES Fund, set up 12 months ago by the Narendra Modi government with the aim of securing financial donations to help fight COVID-19, had ₹7,014 crore as of March 2021. PM CARES spent just ₹ 3,976 crore in the first year of operation in the form of providing relief to the affected. This was different from ₹7,679 crore donated in FY 2021, ₹3,077 crore donated in the beginning of financial year 2020 and interest income of ₹235 crore. Of the donations received, ₹495 was from foreign sources.
Several PM Cares ventilators failed in trial run in Jammu and Kashmir
However, PM CARES spent only ₹ 3,976 crore till March last year. Rs 1,392 crore was used to buy 6.6 crore Covid vaccine doses. Rs 1,311 crore was used to buy 50,000 ‘Made in India’ ventilators. On more than one occasion the ventilators procured from the PM Cares Fund were either found defective or remained unutilized due to lack of trained medical staff. In November last year, a trial run of 100 ventilators failed in Jammu and Kashmir. In May, NDTV reported that ventilators were not used in hospitals in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh because the people there did not know how to operate them.
Meanwhile, only ₹1,000 crore was set aside for the welfare of the country’s migrant population, whose dire plight during the 2020 lockdown made headlines across the world. The other listed expenditure was ₹ 201.58 crore for setting up of 162 oxygen generation plants to meet the oxygen supply shortage across the country after the disastrous second Covid wave. Rs 20.41 crore was spent on upgradation of government-run laboratories for testing and release of Covid vaccines. Rs 50 crore was used to set up two COVID-dedicated hospitals in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur and Patna, as well as set up 16 laboratories to test RT-PCR samples in several states.
How many ventilators were purchased under PM Care Fund?
Let us tell you that since the announcement of PM Cares, it is under suspicion, the opposition parties have demanded transparency in the operation of the fund. Congress also made many criticisms regarding this. Rahul Gandhi has demanded the government to clarify the nature of the fund. An RTI filed by NDTV was also rejected after NDTV reported on documents that kept PM Cares out of the ambit of RTI.