The government on Wednesday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the clause pertaining to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Lokpal Act. The government proposed to amend Section 44 of the Act that required senior management personnel working with NGOs to disclose their assets and liabilities if their NGO receive foreign donations and funds from the Union government.
The notification to this effect issued on June 24 made it mandatory to disclose assets by July 31.
Seeking clarification about the provisions of the act, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) had sent a petition to the government. The CII also sought extension of timeline for disclosure by three months.
“Unnecessary intervention will adversely create a lot of disruption in the working of trusts, societies, association of persons, charitable and non-profit organizations and we would request the Government to urgently re-examine this legislation,” CII president Naushad Forbes had said.
As per the previous UPA government’s Lokpal and Lokayukta Act legislated in 2013, the spouse and dependent children of the personnel were also required to furnish such details.
Recently the government told the Lok Sabha that as many as 14,222 NGOs were barred from receiving foreign funds in the past four years for violating norms. Speaking in the Lower House, Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju said, “The Ministry of External Affairs has communicated a write up containing certain views of United Nations Human Rights experts on provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which regulates foreign grant.
“The government is also aware about the one sided and biased views expressed by certain persons or associations regarding the cancellation of FCRA registration,” he said.