The Ministry of Home Affairs has directed 1,222 NGOs across the country to validate the bank accounts in which they receive foreign contribution, failure of which will invite punitive action. The list includes Sri Ramakrishna Math, Ramakrishna Mission, Indore Cancer Foundation Charitable Trust, Coimbatore Christian Charitable Trust, Delhi School Of Social Work Society, Hindu Anath Ashram and Madani Darut Tarbiyat, among others.
Referring to its circular released on June 7, the ministry issued a reminder saying all NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) should receive foreign donations in a single designated bank account. “It is, however, seen that a large number of associations have still not validated their foreign contribution designated bank accounts,” the new circular stated.
Listing the name of all the organisations, the ministry has asked them to validate their foreign contribution and utilisation accounts “immediately”. The NGOs have also been directed to provide details regarding the accounts, including the name of the bank, branch code, account number and IFSC online, through FC 6 form. The form is available online at http://fcraonline.nic.in. “Non-compliance may lead to penal actions as per Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and Rules made there under,” it said.
A few others NGOs named are Rehmat E Alam Hospital Trust Anantanag, Rotary Club of Mumbai Midwest, JK Trust, Bombay, Goonj, Madina Education and Charitable Society, Nagaland Bible College, Indian Institute for Nature and Environment Study.
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The Modi government, which has tightened the rules for NGOs, has already cancelled registration of more than 10,000 non-governmental organisations in the last three years for alleged non-filing of annual returns as mandated in the FCRA. In addition, renewals of more than 1,300 NGOs have been denied or they were closed in recent past for allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA.
The home ministry has also asked nearly 6,000 NGOs to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy. The move was initiated after it was detected that many NGOs have their bank accounts in cooperative banks or state government-owned apex banks or banks which do not have core banking facilities.
In November, 2016, the government had directed more than 11,000 NGOs to file applications for renewal of registration by February 28, 2017. Of the above, 3,500 NGOs have filed applications for renewal and hence the registration of more than 7,000 NGOs were deemed expired due to non-filing of renewal applications.
Currently around 22,000 FCRA registered NGOs are operating in the country.
(With inputs from PTI)