Check before donating as 10k NGOs have lost licence over foreign funds

Home ministry gets reports on violations of FCRA and action is initiated only after due scrutiny

GN Bureau | July 22, 2015


#ngo   #donation   #fcra   #foreign funds   #greenpeace   #teesta setalvad   #home ministry  

Want to make donations to a charity organisation? Check before writing a cheque as the government has cancelled the registration of over 10,000 NGOs (non government organisations) for violating foreign funding norms.

The home ministry took actions against various NGOs, including Greenpeace India, two NGOs run by social activist Teesta Setalvad, cancelled the registration of more than 10,000 NGOs and put Ford Foundation under  "watch list" for allegedly violating provisions of FCRA (foreign contributions regulation act).

The ministry receives inputs from various security agencies, including Intelligence Bureau, from time to time, about the violations of FCRA and action is initiated only after due scrutiny as prescribed in the act.

"FCRA and FCRR came into force with effect from 2011. Since then, notices were issued to around 21,000 associations in 2011 and to 10,343 associations in 2014 for not filing annual returns continuously for three years," the home ministry has said.

After inspections and scrutiny of accounts, 15 cases were referred to CBI and 10 to states for further investigation and prosecution. Accounts of 23 associations have been frozen and 20 associations have been prohibited from receiving foreign contribution.

In 2014, penalty amounting to Rs 5,20,82,031 was imposed on 341 associations for late/ non-submission of mandatory annual returns and of Rs 51,99,526 on 24 associations for receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution without obtaining registration or prior permission under the FCRA.

"Expeditious action is taken as and when adverse inputs of violations of provisions of the act are received against any association," the ministry said. The ministry in its statement said actions are taken only after giving them (NGOs) adequate opportunity and following due process of law. "Hence, the question of muzzling NGOs/Civil Societies by government does not arise."

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