Agency New Delhi: The Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force as well as employees of the defence ministry have decided to donate one day’s salary totalling around Rs 500 crore to the relief fund announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Separately, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that he will donate one month’s salary to the fund. On Saturday, Modi announced setting up of the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES) to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. A number of union ministers, private entities, industrialists and government organisations have responded to the prime minister’s announcement and contributed to the fund. So far, India has recorded a total of 979 positive cases of coronavirus and 25 deaths. “I have decided to donate my one month’s salary to the PM-CARES Fund. You can also contribute in this fund and strengthen India’s resolve to fight against the menace of COVID-19,” the defence minister said. Singh said he has also asked the Chairman MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) to release Rs 1 crore to the PM-CARES Fund. A defence ministry spokesperson said Singh has approved a proposal for contribution of one day’s salary by employees of the ministry to the Fund. “It is estimated that around Rs 500 crore will be collectively provided by the Defence Ministry to the Fund from various wings, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Defence PSUs and others,” he said. The employees’ contribution is voluntary and those desirous of opting out will be exempted.
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