MHA serves notices to 10,331 NGOs for not filing returns

SansadTV Bureau

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The Home Ministry has served notices to more than 10,000 NGOs receiving foreign funds for failing to submit their mandatory annual returns for three consecutive years from 2009 to 2012.

On scrutiny of records, it has been found that the mandatory annual returns for the years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 have not been received from these associations. Notices are being sent to these associations, the Home Ministry said in its notice.

The associations are advised to submit justification immediately as to why their registration under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 should not be cancelled for non-filing of return within a stipulated time period and for violating Foreign Contribution Regulations Rules.

The list of erring foreign-funded NGOs includes the highest 1,441 NGOs in Andhra Pradesh, 1,167 in Uttar Pradesh, 1,108 in Tamil Nadu, 990 in Maharashtra, 821 in Karnataka, 748 in West Bengal, 655 in Bihar, 643 in Orissa, 538 in Kerala, 400 in Delhi, 378 in Gujarat, 38 in Jammu and Kashmir and 130 in Assam besides others.

The Home Ministry’s missive to the NGOs has come three months after a classified Intelligence Bureau report had reportedly said of “anti-development” activities by several foreign funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs), saying they were “negatively impacting economic development” by agitating against big infrastructure projects.

The Home Ministry has directed the NGOs to give details of their income, expenditure, balance sheets among other documents clearly showing the source of foreign funds and the activities for which it has been put to use.

The Ministry has made it clear that apart from the NGOs which are receiving foreign funds on an annual basis, those associations which did not receive foreign contribution during a particular year, but are registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), are also required to furnish a “NIL return” for that financial year within the stipulated time frame.

It has categorically said that non-submission of mandatory annual return is in violation of the FCRA 2010 and FCRR 2011.

There are 42,529 NGOs registered under FCRA as on July 16, 2014. However, there is no specific data available in respect of NGOs not registered under FCRA.