SARC & Associates, a New Delhi-based chartered accountancy firm, has got the mandate to audit PM CARES fund for three years. It is the same audit firm that audits the accounts of PM National Relief Fund.
PM CARES fund, a public charitable trust, has been especially constituted to collect donations with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected.
SARC & Associates is a full service chartered accountancy firm founded by Sunil Kumar Gupta in 1980s. According to the website of the company, it has 18 partners and over 300 professionals. The CA firm has branches across the country with presence in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Noida, Ahmedabad, Surat and Chandigrah.
SARC & Associates has been auditing the PM National Relief Fund since 2018-19. Before that, the fund was audited by Thakur, Vaidyanath Aiyar & Co.
Sunil Kumar Gupta, founder of SAARC & Associates, is a man of many hats. He calls himself 'an entrepreneur par excellence, a philanthropist and a great visionary'.
He is the leader of Indo European Business Forum (IEBF), India, an independent body promoting trade and investment between India and the EU member countries. He is also the founder of India Global Chamber of Businesses. According to Gupta's website, he is also a lifetime member of Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) and National Sports Club of India (NSCI).
Business Today approached Sunil Kumar Gupta for his comment, but he was not available till the time of filing this report.
There has been a lot of controversy over the manner in which PM CARES was formed, and the government's refusal to get the trust audited by the CAG. The government had earlier said that the trust would be audited by a private auditor.
According to the PM CARES website, though there is no statutory period prescribed for audit of the PM CARES under the Income Tax Act, audit will be conducted at the end of the financial year.