NGOs will have to disclose assets and liabilities; officials brought under Lokpal

25 July 2016

In stepped-up scrutiny of NGOs, especially their financial dealings, the union home ministry proposes to make it mandatory for all non-profit organisations that receive more than Rs1 crore as government funds and over 10 lakhs as donations from abroad, will have to declare their assets.

An NDTV report quoting official sources said the NGOs will now have to disclose assets and liabilities every year as they are considered public servants under the provisions of the Lokpal Act,

They would also have to put out the information in public domain.

The government has also made obtaining unique identification numbers and registering them on the NITI Aayog portal, including the details of the Aadhaar and PAN numbers of all their trustees and office-bearers, mandatory for applying for grants from any ministry.

The decision was taken by the NITI Aayog at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9 May.
All ministries have been directed to process the proposal for grants and releases to the NGOs only through the Aayog's portal, according to a report in The Hindu.

As of now, the government tracks only foreign funds and expenditure of NGOs, but henceforth the assets of the non-profits will be looked into as well.

The Narendra Modi government has taken a negative view of most NGOs as it feels they are here to defeat the government's development programmes and the new developments are seen by many as yet another of the government to keep an eye on such NGOs.

The NDA government had, in April last year, cancelled licences of nearly 9,000 NGOs for violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

In an order, the home ministry had said that notices were issued to 10,343 NGOs for not filing annual returns for the year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.

The notices were served on 16 October 2014, abut so far only 229 out of the 10,344 NGOs have replied to the home ministry's letter.

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