Home Ministry serves showcause notices to 1,755 NGOs for not filing FCRA returnshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/home-ministry-serves-showcause-notices-to-1755-ngos-for-not-filing-fcra-returns/

Home Ministry serves showcause notices to 1,755 NGOs for not filing FCRA returns

The ministry warned of "appropriate action" under the FCRA if entities failed to submit the required statements by December 1.

The Infosys Foundation, Skoda Auto India, University of Rajasthan and Madras Christian College are among the entities that were served the notice by the ministry.
The Infosys Foundation, Skoda Auto India, University of Rajasthan and Madras Christian College are among the entities that were served the notice by the ministry.

After a crackdown on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act in June this year, the Union Home Ministry on Monday served showcause notices to 1,755 NGOs, including a few companies, for failing to submit annual income and expenditure statement on foreign funding for up to six years despite repeated reminders.

The Infosys Foundation, Skoda Auto India, University of Rajasthan and Madras Christian College are among the entities that were served the notice.

In the notice which was issued late evening, the home ministry said the entities had not submitted online their income and expenditure statement, receipts and payment account, balance sheet for up to six consecutive financial year – 2011-12 to 2016-17 – despite repeated notices served to them.

The ministry warned of “appropriate action” under the FCRA if entities failed to submit the required statements by December 1.

The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust, Mumbai, Loyola College Society, Vijayawada, Guru Harkrishan Education Society, Chandigarh and Allahabad Agricultural Institute were some of the other organisations that were served the notice.

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However, when contacted, a spokesperson for Infosys Foundation said, “The Infosys Foundation has not received a formal notification”.

Others which were showcaused included the National Association for the Blind, Gujarat, Vivekananda Seva Sadan, West Bengal, Bombay Memons’ Education Society, Rajiv Gandhi Social Service Centre, Madurai, Jawahar Sarvodya Vikas Samiti, Nalanda, Bihar, Indira Mahila Bikash Samiti, Orissa, Nehru Yuva Sankalp Sansthan, Rajasthan, Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, a deemed university located at Nagaur in Rajasthan.

Young Men’s Christian Association, Kutch, Gujarat, Midas Trust, Mumbai, Mewat Educational and Development Society, Haryana, North East Institute of Fashion Technology, Guwahati and Jamia Islamia Ashraf Ul Ullom Arabic Education Public Charitable Trust, Visakhapatnam were also among those which were served the notice.

As per FCRA guidelines, associations registered under the Act are required to submit electronically an online annual report with scanned copies of income and expenditure statement, receipts and payment account, balance sheet etc. for every financial year within nine months of the closure of the financial year. Associations which do not receive foreign contribution during a particular year are also required to furnish a NIL return for that financial year within the aforesaid period.

After scrutiny of records for the years 2011-12 to 2016-17, the ministry observed that the annual report/accounts for some of the financial years in the aforesaid period were not uploaded on the FCRA portal online by the said associations, despite the fact that one final opportunity of one month was provided to all such associations to submit the missing annual reports without paying any penalty on May 12, 2017.

Another notice was served on April 24, 2018 to these associations advising them to submit annual report/accounts of the missing years electronically online immediately.

However, the said associations ignored the notices and failed to submit the annual report/accounts of the missing years electronically online till date, the ministry said.

“Therefore, the said associations are hereby directed to explain within a period of 15 days from the date of issue of this show cause notice as to why appropriate action under the FCRA may not be initiated against them,” it said.