Centre seeks brisk info on NGOs' foreign fund inflow

In a bid to keep a tab on the foreign fund flow to NGOs on an almost real-time basis, the Centre is planning to make banks inform authorities about such donations received by organisations and its utilisation within 48 hours.

Earlier, banks had 30 days time to intimate the receipt of such donations but they have less time and also will have to inform when the NGO does some transaction for its utilisation, if the draft amendments prepared by the Union Home Ministry come into effect.

The NGO, on the other hand, will have to submit such details in seven days besides reflecting it in the annual statement to be given within nine months of the closure of financial year.

The move comes amid heightened action from the government side against NGOs for the past one year with authorities pointing fingers at such organisations receiving foreign funds to act against the “economic” interests of the country. Greenpeace India is facing cancellation of its registration with the government accusing it of “protest creation” using foreign funds that are detrimental to the interests of the country. The RBI has also been asked to keep a tab on donations from Ford Foundation.

The Home Ministry has drafted amendments in the existing Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules (FCRR) 2011 and has put it in public domain for suggestions.

According to the draft, the bank should report to the Centre within 48 hours “any transaction in respect of receipt and utilisation of any foreign contribution, by any person, registered or granted prior permission, whether in designated contribution bank account or utilisation account”.

Another prominent change in the rules is making it mandatory for the NGOs to submit the annual accounts online.

They will also have to post the audited statement of accounts on its “declared official website” in the form prescribed by the Centre. This would mean that all NGOs, which had registered under the FCRA, would have to have a website.

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