Baghel asks Centre to return CSR donations made by Chhattisgarh industrialists to PM CARES
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has asked the Centre to return CSR donations made by industrialists from his state to the PM CARES fund, saying the money could be used for welfare of the state. In a recent interview to PTI, he also said that the country has a right to know about the donations in the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund.
The statement comes days after Baghel went public with details of contributions made to the chief minister's relief fund. "The country has the right to know about the PM CARES fund. They (people) should know. There is nothing to hide anything on it," he said. Baghel said he has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that donations to the PM CARES fund have been made by the industrialists of the state as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
"I have told the PM that the money (CSR fund donation to the fund) is of Chhattisgarh. It is ours. It is of the people of the state. Give that money to us so that we can take decisions for their benefit and welfare," he said. Going public with the details of donations made in the chief minister's relief fund, Baghel had on Monday said Rs 56.4 crore was received between March 24 and May 7 by commercial and social organizations, firms, government staff and citizens.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, the PM CARES fund trust decided to allocate Rs 3,100 crore for the fight against COVID-19. The PM CARES fund was set up in late March, with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the coronavirus pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had on Saturday demanded an audit of PM CARES fund and said the account of money received in it and spent be made public. To a question on workers returning from different parts of the country to Chhattisgarh, Baghel said the state has done all preparations and has made around 16,499 quarantine centres in villages.
"We are all ready. But then there will be people in large numbers who would be coming into the state, so a feeling of fear, whether or not somebody is infected among them, is always there," he said. Baghel has also demanded from the Centre that the states be given the rights to decide on red, orange and green zones for the classification of containment areas.
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