Make public every foreign donation within a week, Government tells NGOs


NEW DELHI: Every NGO will now have to put out details within one week on its website about each foreign contribution received by it while banks will have to report the same to the government within 48 hours of such a receipt, the Centre has proposed as part of a PMO-initiated exercise to tighten monitoring over NGOs in the country.

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A fortnight after ET first reported the planned move, the Home Ministry has now put in public domain the proposed changes to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules (FCRR), 2011 following Intelligence Bureau’s inputs to “improve oversight and increase transparency” in the working of the NGO sector in India.
The main change is that all NGOs will have to make public each foreign contribution received by them within a week of the receipt, on their official website or a website prescribed by the government. Earlier, NGOs were expected to put in public domain details if receipts of foreign donations by it were in the excess of Rs One Crore and the same was also done only at the end of the financial year.

ET had reported on June 4 that acting on instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Home Ministry was stepping up its scrutiny of foreign funded NGOs based on recommendations of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), a move which could prove controversial coming as it does after its actions against Ford Foundation and Greenpeace.

The other big change is that banks have been mandated to inform the government within 48 hours of every foreign contribution coming into the country to any NGO. Earlier, banks were only supposed to inform the government within 30 days only if a foreign contribution to any NGO exceeded Rs One Crore in a single transaction or over period of 30 days.

Another change has been brought in the form which is supposed to be filled up online for registration or renewal of license for NGOs. The government has now introduced a new declaration that the NGO must make that the foreign aid received by it will not be used for any activities “detrimental to national interest, likely to affect public interest, or likely to prejudicially affect the security, scientific, strategic or economic interest of the state.” The NGO will have to also submit details of any social media account on Facebook or Twitter being operated by the NGO.

ET had reported on June 4 that acting on instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Home Ministry was stepping up its scrutiny of foreign funded NGOs based on recommendations of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), a move which could prove controversial coming as it does after its actions against Ford Foundation and Greenpeace.

The Union home ministry quickened its review of the FCRA rules earlier this month after the Principal Secretary to the PM, Nirpendra Mishra wrote to Home Secretary L.C. Goyal asking him to put a mechanism in place to “without any delay” to monitor foreign funding of NGOs. Encouraging transparency and improving oversight are the “guiding principles” of the exercise and the PMO is said to be keen to have the new measures in place by June 15 in the interest of India’s “economic security”, ET had reported on June 4.

Source- Economictimes
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