Major changes are in the offing in the way the PM's National Relief Fund is managed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi today directed that the Gujarat model should be emulated in selection of beneficiaries, giving priority to the poor and children.
Modi reviewed the functioning of the Relief Fund (PMNRF) and suggested several qualitative changes in the way the fund is managed, a PMO statement said.
Referring to the Gujarat model, he directed that the selection of beneficiaries should be done in a more comprehensive, scientific and humanitarian basis, giving priority to children, poor and cases from government hospitals, the statement said.
Cases involving life-threatening diseases should be accorded priority and applications should be decided on need and merit, the Prime Minister added.
He also directed that pendency in appeals for help should be minimised and the draw to select the cases should be conducted in a manner that does not leave out any genuine case.
It was decided that a letter from the Prime Minister should be sent to all beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries whose appeals have been approved for grant of relief will be informed through an SMS alert, it said.
The PM National Relief Fund was established in 1948 with public contributions to assist displaced persons from Pakistan.
The resources of the PMNRF are now utilised primarily to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes and to the victims of major accidents and riots.
Assistance from PMNRF is also rendered for medical treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment etc.
The PMNRF fund consists entirely of public contributions and does not get any budgetary support.
The corpus of the fund is invested with banks in fixed deposits. Disbursements are made with the approval of the Prime Minister.
Modi also reviewed the functioning of the other Prime Minister's funds - the PM's discretionary fund, the PM's National Defence Fund, the PM's fund for student's aid, and the PM's fund for folk art.
The review meeting was attended by Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, and P K Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and other senior officials.