A group of 100 former civil servants wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday raising questions over transparency in the PM-CARES Fund.
They said it is necessary that, for reasons of probity and adherence to standards of public accountability, the financial details of receipts and expenditures be made available in order to avoid doubts of wrongdoing.
"We have been keenly following the ongoing debate about the Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations, or 'PM-CARES', -- a fund created for the benefit of people affected by the COVID pandemic. Both the purpose for which it has been created as well as the way it has been administered have left a number of questions unanswered," they said in the letter.
"It is essential that the position and stature of the Prime Minister is kept intact by ensuring total transparency in all dealings the Prime Minister is associated with," they said.
The letter was signed by former IAS officers Anita Agnihotri, S P Ambrose, Sharad Behar, Sajjad Hassan, Harsh Mander, P Joy Oommen, Aruna Roy, former diplomats Madhu Bhaduri, K P Fabian, Deb Mukharji, Sujatha Singh and former IPS officers A S Dulat, P G J Nampoothiri and Julio Ribeiro among others.
In March last year, the Centre set up the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund with the primary objective to deal with any kind of emergency situation like the one currently posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and provide relief to those affected.