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PM Cares Fund is not a Public Authority says Prime Minister’s Office

A number of citizens, including judges and staff of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, have contributed generously to the PM Cares Fund for COVID-19 relief.

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New Delhi: Amid concerns raised over the transparency of the PM Cares Fund set up for COVID-19 relief, a Right to Information (RTI) response received by a lawyer states that the Fund does not come under the scope of “public authority” under the RTI Act.

Advocate Abhay Gupta had filed a RTI application asking for :

  • The total amount deposited in the Fund account till date
  • The total amount deposited in the Fund in the last two monhts
  • PAN details give to open the PM Cares account
  • Details of the amount spent from the PM Cares Fund till date
  • Details of the person who deposited the highest amount till date
PM Cares Fund is not a public authority under the RTI Act: Response to RTI filed by lawyer

However, in a reply received yesterday, Gupta was informed that the PM Cares Fund is not a public authority under the RTI Act. The reply states,

“PM CARES Fund is not a Public Authority under the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005. However, relevant information in respect of PM CARES Fund may be seen on the Website – pmcares.gov.in.”

Section 2(h) of the RTI Act defines “public authority” as such:

“Public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self- government established or constituted—

  • (a) By or under the Constitution;
  • (b) By any other law made by Parliament;
  • (c) By any other law made by State Legislature;
  • (d) By notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government.

Under the Act only such information [as defined in Section 2(j)] which is held by or under the control of any public authority may be accessed by the general public through RTI.

In effect, the denial of the PM Cares Fund as a public authority shields it from the ambit of the RTI Act, and consequently, no citizen can obtain details pertaining to the Fund through the RTI route.

A number of citizens, including judges and staff of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, have contributed generously to the PM Cares Fund for COVID-19 relief.

The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed petitions calling into question the setting up of the PM Cares Fund.

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Corona testing reaches 8K per million, nearly 63% cured

“The cumulative number of samples tested as of now is 1,15,87,153. As a result of these efforts, the testing per million for India is presently 8,396.4,” the Ministry said.

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New Delhi, July 12 : As India on Sunday recorded 8.5 lakh coronavirus cases, the testing per million crossed 8,000 figure with 62.93 per cent patients recovering from the disease, a positive sign amid pandemic.

Focussed and coordinated steps taken in tandem by the Centre along with the states and the Union Territories (UTs) through a ”whole of government” approach, bolstered by effective clinical management of COVID-19 after early detection and timely diagnosis, led to a consistent increase in the recovered cases, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

In the last 24 hours, the Ministry, however, said a total of 19,235 people were cured of COVID-19. This has resulted in the cumulative total number of recovered cases rising to 5,34,620 on Sunday.

“The recovery rate has presently improved to 62.93 per cent,” the Ministry said.

As more people are recovering due to all-round efforts, the recovered cases exceed active cases by 2,42,362, it said, adding medical attention is being provided to all the 2,92,258 active cases.

The present health infrastructure dedicated to providing medical attention to the COVID affected includes 1,370 Dedicated COVID Hospitals (DCH), 3,062 Dedicated COVID Health Centres (DCHC), and 10,334 COVID Care Centres (CCC).

For the successful operation of these facilities, the Centre has so far provided 122.36 lakh Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, 223.33 lakh N95 masks, and 21,685 ventilators to various states and UTs and central institutions.

Enabling factors like removing all impediments for COVID-19 testing and facilitation of widespread testing by states and UTs continues to result in a steady rise in the samples tested every day and during the last 24 hours 2,80,151 samples have been tested, it said.

“The cumulative number of samples tested as of now is 1,15,87,153. As a result of these efforts, the testing per million for India is presently 8,396.4,” the Ministry said.

A crucial supporting factor in progressive rise in testing numbers is continuous expansion of the country-wide diagnostic lab network, which as on date comprises 850 labs in the government sector and 344 private labs, totalling 1,194 labs.

Of the total 1,194 labs, 624 are Real-Time RT-PCR based testing labs that include 388 government and 236 private. A total of 472 TrueNat based testing labs are there in the country which include 427 government and 45 private. The CBNAAT based testing labs are 98 — 35 government and 63 private.

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India leading successful fight against COVID-19: HM Amit Shah

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New Delhi, July 12 : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said India was leading a successful fight in managing the coronavirus pandemic at a time when health services of most countries were collapsing.

The Home Minister said that the whole world was concerned about how India – a huge densely populated country with a federal structure – would fight this pandemic, but today “the most successful fight against this pandemic has been fought in India.”

“We are on a strong pedestal in the fight against COVID-19 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the motto ‘One People, One Thought, One Nation’,” Shah said while launching the Central Armed Police Forces’ (CAPFs) nationwide tree plantation drive in Gurugram which has set a target of planting 1.37 crore saplings.

Shah said only governments are fighting this pandemic across the world, but here in India, 130 crore people besides state governments are united in fighting this threat. His remarks came when the country recorded 28,637 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total tally to 8,49,553 while the death toll from the disease climbed to 22,674.

In this fight, Shah said our CAPFs are playing a very important role whether it be markets, railway stations, whenever state governments have sought support in managing crowded places or the local police have sought the support of our security forces in enforcing the lockdown.

Mentioning that we should harness natural resources and not exploit them, Shah said this balance has been disturbed today due to consumerism and as a result we are facing the challenges of climate change and global warming. He said several programmes are being run on environmental protection but only tree plantation can check pollution and save the earth.

Shah said Prime Minister Modi while participating in the Paris World Environment Summit had cautioned the world against over exploitation of nature and the world accepted his formula in the Paris declaration on tackling climate change. Shah pointed out that various programmes of the government of India such as eight crore free cylinders to rural households are also environment friendly.

“I commend the brave CAPF jawans and applaud them for not only protecting and securing the nation but also having undertaken this massive campaign to plant more than one crore saplings of long lasting trees,” he said.

On the occasion Shah planted a sapling of the ‘peepal’ tree.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, DGs of the seven CAPFs and senior officials were also present. To mark the plantation drive, more than 10 lakh saplings are being planted at various locations of the CAPF throughout the length and breadth of the country.

These saplings are being planted by the CAPF personnel by contributing voluntary labour. Till June 30 this year more than 20 lakh saplings have been planted by all CAPFs across different regions of the country.

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77% companies face revenue drop amid Covid pandemic: Report

Businesses see challenges with regards to demand, liquidity and availability of finance with MSMEs being the hardest hit amongst all, the survey found.

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New Delhi, July 12 : Around 77 per cent business organisations have witnessed a drop in their revenue as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to a recent global survey.

As per a joint survey by 720 Transform of Dubai, Prophecy FZLLC-Middle East and India-based Insights3D, around 7 per cent firms in India and the Middle East have registered an upward revenue growth, while about 16 per cent of the companies remained unaffected.

Around 282 executives, including CEOs and MDs from across industry segments were interviewed for the survey.

Out of the negatively impacted companies which recorded fall in revenue, 30 per cent companies logged an over 50 per cent drop while another 30 per cent firms recorded 30-50 per cent decline.

The report said that around 30 per cent of the companies surveyed will need to undertake drastic measures such as higher levels of rationalisation, sale or merger.

Commenting on the report, Raja Marur of Prophecy FZLLC said: “Our belief that a new normal is being envisaged has been validated by the survey. Further, the impact to organizations varies by scale and level of global integration of their supply chains.”

Most leaders foresee a new normal in terms of remote working and decentralization, coupled with process automations and an increased reliance on artificial intelligence and analytics, the survey showed. However, these changes are likely to pose challenges in governance structures as also in communication lines and objective performance management.

Businesses see challenges with regards to demand, liquidity and availability of finance with MSMEs being the hardest hit amongst all, the survey found.

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