Friday, 28 February 2014

State NGOs get over 3,000cr from abroad

Prafulla Marpakwar TNN 

Mumbai: Non-governmental and voluntary organizations based in Maharashtra have mobilized a whopping Rs 3,056 crore from foreign agencies during the last three years. 
    When the issue of foreign funding of NGOs and voluntary organizations was raised in Parliament, Union minister of state for home Mullappally Ramchandran disclosed that 2,103 organizations had received Rs 915.4 crore in 2011, 2,059 of them got Rs 1,107.39 crore in 2012 and 1.443 obtained nearly Rs 1,034 crore last year. 
    Some MPs had asked for specific details of foreign funds received by NGOs and voluntary organizations; whether these funds are misused owing to poor monitoring; whether these outfits were filing annual returns and if there was a ceiling on receiving donations from abroad. 
    At the national level, the minister disclosed that 23,063 organizations had
received Rs 10,354 crore in 2011, 22,710 managed Rs 11,550 crore in 2012 and 16,557 of them got Rs 10,821 crore in 2013. 
    The minister said the government has been monitoring the receipt and utilization of foreign contribution received by Indian entities, including individuals and NGOs, under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. Further, the government undertakes random scrutiny of returns furnished by NGOs and VOs which have been granted permission to receive foreign contributions. 

352 NGOs in state delicensed for not filing returns 
Mumbai: Apart from routine monitoring of NGOs and voluntary organizations, inputs from field agencies or complaints against associations too are thoroughly probed. “Wherever required, inspection of accounts and records of such associations is undertaken,’’ Union minister of state for home Mullappally Ramchan
dran informed Parliament. 
    So far, at the national level, 24 cases of violation have been referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation and 10 cases have been referred to the state police for investigation and prosecution. As per procedure, a show-cause notice is issued to those associations that don’t file annual returns in the prescribed format. “After a stipulated time, such associations 
have to pay a compounded penalty. If violation of laws is confirmed, process of cancellation of registration is initiated. Registration of 4,138 organizations, including 352 from Maharashtra, has been cancelled due to non-submission of annual returns,’’ he said. 
    The minister admitted that there is no upper limit for receipt of foreign contribution by associations. “There is no such 
provision in the rules,’’ he said. 
    As per the report tabled in Parliament, two cases from Maharashtra were referred to the CBI for investigation. In the first instance, a chargesheet was filed on May 22, 1989 and the case is at the pre-charge stage. In the second, a chargesheet was filed on December 12, 1996 and the case is listed for crossexamination of witnesses after framing of charges.

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