Proposal for voluntary monthly contribution to PM-CARES by armed forces for 11 months cleared

New Delhi, May 6 (PTI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday approved a proposal for voluntary monthly contribution of one day's salary for next 11 months to the PM CARES fund for COVID-19 by nearly 1.5 million-strong armed forces and all other employees of his ministry, officials said.

The total estimated contribution would be around Rs 5,500 crore if majority of the armed forces personnel and employees of the ministry including from the defence public sector undertakings decide to go for it, they said. According to an official note, the contribution to the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES) will start from May and will continue till March 2021.

'Any officer or staff willing to contribute one day's salary for any or all the months from May 2020 to March 2021 may intimate their willingness to their respective Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) in writing mentioning her/his employee code,' according to the note.

Officials said the defence minister as well as all senior officials of the ministry and three services are making their contributing to the fund as mentioned in the note.

The armed forces personnel as well as employees of the defence ministry have already made a contribution of one day's salary last month, totalling around Rs 500 crore.

In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced setting up of the PM-CARES to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Political leaders, corporates, defence personnel, employees of PSUs such as Railways and Bollywood personalities were among a cross-section of organisations and people making their contribution to the fund.

The government has also decided to accept contributions from abroad to the fund. PTI MPB RT