PM Relief Fund received ₹321cr in 2020-21, but maintains all-time high balance
Contributions declined from ₹481 crore in 2019-20, largely on account of PM Cares, the the public assistance fund created in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic which received ₹3,076 crore in 2019-20.
The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) received only ₹321 crore in contributions in 2020-21, according to the official data, but it ended the year with its reserves at an all-time high of ₹4926 crore.
Contributions declined from ₹481 crore in 2019-20, largely on account of PM Cares, the public assistance fund created in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic which received ₹3,076 crore in 2019-20.
Official data show the PMNRF’s balance of ₹4,926 crore in FY20-21 is 11% more than its FY19-20 balance of ₹4,393 crores. In 2018-19, the fund had a balance of ₹3,800 crores.
The PMNRF, according to its available balance sheet, invests in bank instruments, buys bonds and gives loans to the states but has zero exposure in the equity market.
As the PMNRF depends on public donations without any budgetary support, the amount received had dipped in a few of the previous years, too. However, the fund has been able to maintain a healthy balance over the past few years as it invests surplus money in bank instruments and the bond market.
In FY20-21, the PMNRF’s investments included fixed deposits in IndusInd bank, YES bank and IDFC bank. It invested a total corpus of ₹900 crore in these FDRs in the same financial year. While it didn’t give any fresh loan to the states last year (PMNRF gave a ₹385 crore of loan to different states in FY19-20), it earned ₹7.9 crore interest on matured fixed deposits.
It received another ₹290 crore as interests on bonds and state development loans. The fund also redeemed bonds worth ₹1500 crore while fixed deposits of ₹270 crore matured.
The PMNRF was established by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in January 1948 to assist displaced persons from Pakistan, in the wake of Partition. Now, resources of the PMNRF are utilised “primarily to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, etc. and to the victims of the major accidents and riots,” according to the government.
It also provides assistance to partially defray “the expenses for medical treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment and acid attack etc.”
The fund is completely financed by public contributions and does not enjoy any budgetary support. While it makes investments in scheduled commercial banks and other agencies, its disbursements are made with the approval of the Prime Minister.
In 2011-12, the PMNRF’s balance stood at ₹1,698 crore.
It received a steady flow of funds over the years but the public contributions significantly jumped in FY14-15 and FY19-20, after the general elections. In FY2014-15, the fund received ₹871 crores and in FY19-20, it got ₹815 crore.