In a major crackdown under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), the Union home ministry has issued notices to 10,331 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for not submitting their annual returns between 2009 and 2012.
There are around 45,000 NGOs registered under FCRA in India and they receive more than `10,000 crore in foreign funding annually. Some of them are recipients of donations to the tune of around `230 crore annually.
Of the 10,331 NGOs issued notices, the maximum are in Andhra Pradesh (1,441), followed by Uttar Pradesh (1,167), Tamil Nadu (1,108), Maharashtra (990), Karnataka (821), West Bengal (748), Bihar (655) and Odisha (643). In Delhi, there are 400 NGOs that have been issued notices.
All NGOs need to be registered under the FCRA to get foreign funding and non-submission of the annual return is a violation of the act for which their registration can be cancelled.
Immediately after the NDA government took over, an Intelligence Bureau report had castigated ‘foreign-funded’ NGOs for fanning protests against big infrastructure projects. A global NGO, Greenpeace, was also put on the restricted list by the ministry.
Earlier, the ministry had issued notices to 21,493 NGOs registered under FCRA for non-submission of returns between 2006 and 2009. Surprisingly, letters dispatched to 4,138 NGOs had returned to the ministry undelivered as their addresses were not found.