HYDERABAD: To facilitate making hassle-free contributions to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) by just a click of the mouse, the Telangana government is planning to launch a separate website for receiving donations. Besides encouraging online remittances, the idea behind the proposed website is to promote ‘donations for specific purpose’ which has not been the case till now.
“There are several proposals to revive the remittances and disbursements made from the CMRF and setting up a website is one of them. As there are scores of NRIs who wish to donate to their home state, this would simplify the process. Besides, this will ensure transparency,” officials in the Chief Minister’s office told Express. However, they admit that the idea is yet to get a concrete shape.
As for seeking donations for specific purpose, the government wants to branch out benefits offered under CMRF. Moving away from accepting monetary donations alone, the government wants to encourage donors to extend support for a cause. Currently, these funds are limited to extending medical benefits, paying ex gratia to victims of natural calamities and extending financial aid to students. “If a donor wants to donate an ambulance to his village, why stop him from doing so? If someone wants to join hands in construction of a school building, let him do so. The government is still working out proposals as how to categorise donations,” the CMO official explained.
The government is of the view that the previous regimes had been more than ‘lavish’ in offering financial support to beneficiaries under CMRF. However, there is no rigid ceiling on the amount given to beneficiaries. “It is to be understood that disbursement made under CMRF is only relief but not reimbursement of expenses incurred on medical treatment or anything. Each application is verified on case-by-case basis. There is no fixed cap on disbursements,” he added.
On CMRF cheques issued in the united AP being turned down by banks, he denied any hardships to beneficiaries. “All that the government wants is to verify whether one is a genuine beneficiary. There is no insistence on furnishing of all documents but at least one to confirm that the person had been sanctioned money by the previous dispensation,” he clarified.
It may be noted that there have been widespread allegations that CMRF cheques issued by the governor during President’s rule between March and June were dishonoured, prompting the governor to seek explanation from the TS government. In all, 2,300 applications have been processed by the authorities and an amount of `24 cr has been disbursed till October 29 since June 2 when the TS came into being.