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Govt warns over 1,900 NGOs of penal action for not filing FCRA returns

LiveMint logoLiveMint 23-06-2017 PTI

New Delhi: The Union home ministry has warned over 1,900 NGOs of penal action for their failure to validate their foreign contribution designated bank accounts.

All eligible non-government organisations (NGOs) should receive donations from abroad in a single designated bank account, according to rules.

Voluntary organisations have to be registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act or FCRA to receive financial aid from abroad.

On 7 June, the ministry asked 2,025 NGOs to validate their accounts within the fortnight. “It is, however, seen that a large number of associations have still not validated their foreign contribution designated bank accounts,” the home ministry said this week in its notice to defaulting NGOs.

Asking NGOs to validate their bank accounts immediately, the notice added, “Please note that non-compliance may lead to penal action as per the FCRA rules.”

A total of 1,927 NGOs have not yet verified their bank accounts, according to the ministry.

In another order, all NGOs receiving foreign grants have been asked to give audited statements of their accounts, including income and expenditure statements with the government.

Such NGOs are mandated to give the details for every financial year beginning 1 April within nine months of closure of the financial year. Over 20,000 voluntary organisations are registered with the government for getting foreign aid.

The home ministry is mulling the future course of action against more than 10,000 NGOs who have failed to give annual statements of their accounts. A total of 18,523 NGOs were in May this year given a one- time opportunity to provide details of their income and expenses for five years -- 2010-11 to 2014-15 -- by 14 June.

However, only 8,267 NGOs filed returns for all the five years. The remaining 10,256 NGOs have still not filed all the returns and may lose their registration, official sources have said.

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