Transparency concerns raised over India COVID-19 fund
“Bejon Misra responded quickly to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal in March for donations to a new fund to strengthen the country’s fight against the coronavirus.”
The next day, the 69-year-old retired management professor made a donation. “It was a generous contribution because Modi is the face of it,” Misra said.
“Such trust in Modi is common in India, the prime minister enjoying a very high approval rating, despite coronavirus infections spiking in recent weeks.”
“India on Tuesday recorded more than 28,000 cases for the second consecutive day, taking the tally to 906,752, according to the country’s health ministry. More than 23,000 people have died from COVID-19.”
“So when the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, or PM CARES, was launched days after India started a countrywide virus lockdown in March, donations began pouring in and have not stopped.”
“Retirees like Misra, industrialists, Bollywood stars and foreign companies have all pitched in. But the fund, now valued at more than $ 1bn, has run into controversy over issues of transparency and accountability.”