Govt Issues Notice to 1,200 NGOs to Validate Foreign Bank Accounts
Volunteers of Indore Cancer Foundation at an early detection programme.
Volunteers of Indore Cancer Foundation at an early detection programme.(Photo: Facebook/Indore Cancer Foundation)

Govt Issues Notice to 1,200 NGOs to Validate Foreign Bank Accounts

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued notice to over 1,200 NGOs across the country, asking them to validate their bank accounts where they receive foreign funds.

They have been asked to submit expenditure details of the last four or more years on the suspicion of violating foreign funding norms. The failure to regulate the bank accounts may lead to cancellation of their licences to receive foreign funds.

The circular from the ministry directs all NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010 to receive foreign donations in a single designated bank account.

The ministry’s step, taken on 8 September, was part of its crackdown against foreign-funded Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) across the country, official sources said on Wednesday.

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"It is alleged that the NGOs violated the stringent laws of on foreign fundings. The NGOs were earlier cautioned over the issue. Ministry of Home Affairs issued notice to 1,222 NGOs and asked them to provide the bank account details in which they receive foreign funds," the sources said.

The list of defaulters included Sri Ramakrishna Math, Ramakrishna Mission, Indore Cancer Foundation Charitable Trust, Madani Darut Tarbiyat and Coimbatore Christian Charitable Trust.

These associations are required to validate their foreign designated accounts and the utilisation accounts immediately, and send the details, including the bank branch, code, account number, and IFSC details.

The circular also says that non-compliance to the directive may lead to penal action under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.

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In July, the Union Home Ministry issued notice to 5,922 associations because they failed to upload their annual returns under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010, despite being given adequate opportunities to do so.

Associations that receive foreign funds are required to submit their annual return for every financial year beginning on 1 April, within nine months of closure of the financial year.

At the moment, there are around 22,000 NGOs registered under FCRA are operating in this country.

(With agency inputs)