The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued notice to over 1,200 NGOs across the country, asking them to validate their bank accounts where they receive foreign funds.
They have been asked to submit expenditure details of the last four or more years on the suspicion of violating foreign funding norms. The failure to regulate the bank accounts may lead to cancellation of their licences to receive foreign funds.
The circular from the ministry directs all NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010 to receive foreign donations in a single designated bank account
In a circular, the ministry said all NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) should receive foreign donations in a single designated bank account.
Among others, 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.
“Non-compliance may lead to penal actions as per FCRA 2010
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.
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.
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.