NEW DELHI: India has relaxed its reticence about taking foreign donations and contributions as it battles a massive pandemic. Sources confirmed that the newly set up PM-CARES fund will accept foreign contributions from “individuals and organisations”.
Sources said, “A public charitable trust ‘PM-CARES’ was set up in view of several spontaneous requests from India and abroad for making generous contribution to support the government in its fight against Covid-19. In view of the interest expressed to contribute to government’s efforts, as well as keeping in mind the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, contributions to the trust can be done by individuals and organisations, both in India and abroad.”
In his interactions with Indian heads of missions overseas, Modi specifically asked them to actively solicit such contributions. This is in variance with the Modi government’s stand during the 2018 Kerala floods, when India refused offers of assistance from many Gulf countries. Sources said contributions to PM-CARES Fund is transparent, though there is little clarity about whether contributions can come from governments and government entities or are restricted to private individuals and corporations.
Meanwhile, MEA sources said the ministry was at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19. A Covid cell created in the ministry is headed by senior diplomat Damu Ravi, and supported by 75 officials, official sources said.