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Govt warns NGOs: File returns or get registration cancelled

LiveMint logoLiveMint 01-06-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which don’t submit their annual income and expenditure records by 14 June will face cancellation of their FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) registration, the government has warned.

A large number of NGOs, registered under the FCRA, are yet to submit their annual returns for five years—2010-11 to 2014-15—despite being given a final opportunity to do so, the home ministry said.

“Last date for uploading annual returns for 2010-11 to 2014-15 is 14 June 2017. Failure to upload all annual returns will lead to cancellation of registration/renewal already granted,” joint secretary (foreigners) in the home ministry Mukesh Mittal said in an order issued on Monday.

The ministry had earlier said that starting 15 May and till 14 June, all such NGOs could upload their missing annual returns along with the requisite documents within 30 days. No compounding fee will be imposed on them for late filing of annual returns during this period and this exemption was a one-time measure.

As per the rules, the renewal of registration under the FCRA cannot be granted unless the annual returns are uploaded to the FCRA website by the organisation. The government is estimated to have cancelled the licences of nearly 7,500 NGOs in last three years after they failed to disclose their income and expenditure statements.

The government scheme is not applicable to NGOs like Greenpeace, Sabrang Trust, Islamic Research Foundation and 1,300 others whose registrations have been cancelled for allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA.

In November 2016, the government had directed more than 11,000 NGOs to file applications for renewal of registration by 28February 2017. However, only 3,500 NGOs filed applications for renewal while the registration of more than 7,000 NGOs were deemed expired due to non-filing.

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