NGOs contribute Rs 41,492 crore a year to the country
Many say that NGOs or societies (registered organizations) deliver services that the corporate sector cannot deliver; they raise awareness among the people; deliver services that government agencies can’t. In short, their contribution cannot be computed.
But the statisticians of the government of India say that the contribution of NGOs, of VOs (voluntary organizations) or Non-Profit Institution (NPI) sector, in monetary terms, is Rs 41,292 crore a year.
The figure is mentioned in the “Final Report on Non-Profit Institutions in India A Profile and Satellite Accounts in the Framework of System of National Accounts”, prepared by the National Accounts Division of the Central Statistics Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.
The report, whose title a mouthful in itself, is somewhat ambivalent about its task. It says that there are 31.7 lakh societies in India. It complains about its inability to trace them all; it cribs about the meager resources at its disposal to manage its task, which is to identify the NGOs, compile their financial data, and people employed by them for inclusion in System of National Accounts (SNA).
The report, finalized in April 2012, is with the ministry, yet to be released. An interesting study, it talks about the administration of NGOs, the areas in which they work, the number of people they employ and provides segregated data on areas of work, gender balance in staff and governing boards and the opacity of data about NGOs in various states.
The report was compiled by the ministry, in collaboration with the directorates of economics and statistics of States, to comply with India’s commitment to implement a UN handbook of NPIs in the System of National Accounts.
Of the estimates of total value of output of Rs 41, 292 crore include salaries, wages, allowances, honorarium, interest, rent, other operating expenses (goods and services purchased for current activities of institution), provision for depreciation, taxes and consumption of stocks.
The activities of Non-Profit Institutions are funded by various sources such as grants, donations and offerings, income/receipts from operations (such as sale of products or services) other incomes/receipts such as interest, dividend, rent etc, as well as membership subscription. More than half, 53.5% of the funding for the societies comes from grants while 16.4% is from donations and offerings and 16.2% from income/receipts from operations. The remaining 13.8% comes from other sources viz. other incomes/receipts, membership subscription and interest, dividend, rent etc.
The survey indicates that of the 31,74,420 NGOs identified 18,63,381 societies, comprising of 58.7% of total registered, are located in rural areas. This percentage share is highest in Himachal Pradesh (93%) and lowest in the urban territories of Chandigarh (5%) and Delhi (0%).
Of the total registered societies, 13,10,911 (41%) are working in the area of Social Services, 6,15,954 (19%) in Education & Research, 3,69,912 (12%) in Culture & Recreation, 2,30,017 (7%) organizing (trade) unions, 1,58,666 (5%) engaged in Development & Housing, 1,52,288 (5%) into religious activities, 59,507 (2%) working on Health. As many as 27,632 (1%) work on Environment, 18,395 (1%) on Philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism promotion, 3,072 (0.10%) on Law, Advocacy & Politics, International activities, and others. The survey could not elicit the nature of work of 60,874 (2%) societies. The top three activities account for 72% of the registered societies.
According to figures provided by the report, 1,41,65,000 work in the non-profit sector, with 27, 13,000 paid employees, and rest volunteers.
Even though most of the NGOs swear by gender sensitivity and gender equity, most of them show that they are managed or run by men. In societies registered both rural and urban areas, the number of male governing body members is significantly higher than their female counterparts. The overall male-female ratio of governing body members is 3:1.
The gender ratio in the management also reflects in the staff. Of the 27,13,000 persons employed by the NGOs, 17,36,000 are male, while 9,77,000 are women.
The NGOs have 1,55,01,000 volunteers, 1,14,52,000 men, and 40,49,000 women. These include governing body members.
Although, as the report is quick to point out, it is not complete or comprehensive due to the non-availability of data for all the registered societies, it provides an interesting insight into the profile of the societies.
According to the Indian Express, the government has, over the past one month, prohibited 4,139 NGOs from receiving contributions from sources overseas. The largest block of NGOs who have been shackled — 794, or about 19 percent of the total — are based in Tamil Nadu, ground zero of the NGO-led protests against the Kudankulam atomic power plant.