Contrary to popular beliefs, the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is not constituted by an act of parliament, hence it is not a statutory or constitutional fund. PMNRF is categorised as a trust by Income Tax Act. It is managed by the Prime Minister of India and multiple other delegates. The PM National Relief Fund is operated by the Prime Minister’s Office in Delhi.
Prime Minister of India is the ex-officio chairperson of PMNRF, and he is assisted by other officers and staff as well.
PMNRF is explained here in detail with a UPSC perspective. Read on to know how this fund is used in Disaster Management in India.
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History of PMNRF
It was created by the then Prime Minister, late Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in January 1948 to provide relief measures to the people displaced from Pakistan during the Partition of India, by accepting voluntary donations from the public.
Income Tax Provisions about PMNRF
- PMNRF is exempted within Sections 10 and 139 of the Income Tax Act 1961 for return purposes.
- Contributions made to PMNRF are deducted from the taxable income under Income Tax Act.
Note: Understand the difference between PMNRF vs PM CARES, with UPSC perspective.
Facts about PMNRF Corpus
- The Fund accepts only voluntary contributions from Indians, Non-Resident Indians, Person of Indian Origin as well as foreign nationals.
- Anyone, be it an individual, organisation, institution, trust, or company, are eligible to donate to PMNRF.
- Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is a non-lapsable fund, and the balance amount is carried forward to next year.
- It does not accept any kind of conditional contribution where the donor wants his or her contribution to be used for a specific purpose.
- The fund also does not accept budgetary support or contributions by any Public Sector Undertakings.
- It accepts both online and offline contributions.
- Offline contributions can be made through any bank branch designated by PMNRF for such purposes.
- Online donations to PMNRF can be made through the official website of the fund (https://pmnrf.gov.in/en/online-donation).
- All the money in the fund is kept in a common pool.
- PMNRF is an audited fund.
- PMNRF comes under the purview of the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005.
- All the contributions by corporates are treated as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) spend. This makes it a very lucrative destination for the companies.
- The money of this fund is held by many scheduled commercial banks and some agencies as part of “Investments” which earns interest and ensures long-term sustainability.
Also, read about the recently constituted and very popular PM CARES Fund, from where UPSC has the probability to ask questions.
Note: Find the detailed breakdown of the UPSC IAS exam by visiting UPSC Civil Services Exam 2022 Syllabus.
PMNRF Use Case
Although created to provide assistance to people displaced from Pakistan during the partition, the fund’s use case has expanded to various domains, of which, following are the major ones:
- To provide immediate relief measures to the families affected by any natural disasters like earthquakes, cyclones, floods, etc.
- Relief for the victims of riots and serious accidents.
- Financial help to poor/needy patients for treatments against major diseases, Government/PMNRF enlisted hospitals.
It can also be used for other purposes as per the discretion of the Prime Minister of India, as there is no fixed list of purposes for which the fund is restricted to get utilized.
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