NGOs changing officials will need government approval
Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), that changed office bearers or key functionaries after registration without the permission of the ministry could face “penal action,” a Union home ministry said on Friday.
In a notification, the ministry said it had noticed that some “associations or persons”, having registered under the FCRA -- the act that guides who and for what foreign funds can be received by NGOs -- changed their office bearers or key functionaries without the approval from the ministry and without updating the data on a real-time basis through the online application for changes of these details.
“All associations/persons who have granted a certificate of registration and who have affected any change/modification in the details of their officer bearers/key functionaries after their registration must inform the Ministry of Hone Affairs (MHA) of the changes within a month failing which penal action shall be initiated,” the notification said.
Enforcement agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate are probing individuals and a few NGOs that allegedly received slush funds from companies in a similar manner, said a senior official who did not want to be named.
“The notification only reiterates the rule position,” he added.
In its previous term, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) administration withdrew permission to receive funds from foreign entities from thousands of NGOs for alleged violation of FCRA rules.
Activists had alleged the crackdown was against free speech but the government had said permission was withdrawn over cases of financial irregularities.