Anybody having an Odisha IGR registered society active NGO with 12A, FCRA, Active bank account and three years activity report and audited statement For Handover/ Transfer of Ownership, kindly send your details and mail your contact number at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anybody having an Odisha IGR registered society active NGO with 12A, FCRA, Active bank account and three years activity report and audited...
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
PM Narendra Modi asks security officials, police to check funding of NGOs involved in 'anti-national activities'
In a closed-door, high-level meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked top security officials to work with the state police to monitor how NGOs and groups suspected to be involved in anti-national activities are funded. Top sources said Modi recently expressed concerned over the subject, and that the Ministry of Home Affairs will engage with states to deal with the matter.AP
In the last couple of years, government agencies have brought numerous NGOs under the scanner for allegedly misappropriating funds and engaging in activities believed to be detrimental to the sovereignty of the country. Even the Supreme Court had observed last year that the Centre must frame rules to regulate government funding to NGOs. Around 30 lakh NGOs operate in India, but merely 10 percent of them file their balance sheets. This allows a large number of these organisations to freely operate without accountability and spend more than the Rs 900 crore the government grants them every year, besides the thousands of crores that pour in as foreign contributions.
"A vibrant civil society is vital for democracy, but some recent incidents in India raised suspicion over the intent of some of these NGOs said to be fighting for a cause," a top government officer said. "The apex court, too, had raised questions over transparency in civil society organisations, and a Central Bureau of Investigation report had clearly highlighted that a majority of these groups operate without any accountability. NGOs could be a tool for social change, but at the same time, this potent medium could be used for activities that may adversely affect the interests of the country."
Article 19 (1) (C) of the Constitution of India guarantees to all citizens the right to form associations and unions, subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign nations, public order, decency and morality.
In 2017, the Supreme Court, in writ petition (CRL) No 172/2011, had directed the Government of India to frame guidelines for accreditation of NGOs, provisions for the manner in which those that receive grants must maintain their accounts and also for how the accounts of NGOs will be audited. The court had observed that guidelines must specify a procedure to initiate action to recover grants in case of defalcation, including criminal action when called for.
Robust monitoring mechanism required
The prime minister's directive to have state police monitor the funding of NGOs and other organisations involved in anti-national activities is based on evidence that reveals huge sums circulating in the coffers of civil society groups and several organisations suspected to be involved in anti-India activities. Some like the Islamic Research Foundation headed by controversial preacher Zakir Naik were found to be using grants to radicalise youths.
NGOs are receiving nearly Rs 27,000 crore in domestic and foreign grants. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, there are approximately 25,000 active organisations registered under The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010. Records suggest that NGOs received foreign contributions to the tune of Rs 18,065 crore for various social, cultural, economic, educational and religious activities in 2016-17. A majority of these NGOs also received funds from companies under Corporate Social Responsibility mandated by the government.
Former senior police officer VN Rai told Firstpost that the system to monitor NGOs needs massive reform, and there has to be a clear distinction between a good civil society group and organisations that are set up primarily to siphon off money.
Rai said NGOs play a vital role in raising issues crucial for society and nation-building, and the handful of organisations involved in unwanted activities can easily be controlled by laws. "There are many NGOs doing fantastic work in the social and environmental sector," he said. "They are speaking up for the downtrodden and people living in the margins. But there are some NGOs that indulge in nefarious activities, and they may have the patronage of the government or administration of the day. The state police does monitor the working of such NGOs along with the home ministry, which keeps track of foreign funding. If the government wants, it can reform the system and install more checks and balances against NGOs working against the interest of the country."
On 1 June, Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh launched an online analytical tool to facilitate closer monitoring of the flow and use of foreign contributions organisations registered under the FCRA receive. The tool enables decision-makers in various departments of the government to scrutinise the source of the funds and their actual use in the country.
"It gives them the capacity to make data-driven and evidence-based decisions regarding the compliance of the provisions of the FCRA," the ministry had said. "It has analytical features for big data mining and data exploration. Its dashboard will be integrated with the bank accounts of FCRA-registered entities through the Public Financial Management System for updation of transactional data on a real-time basis.There are hundreds of thousands of such transactions annually, which can be monitored effectively through this tool. It will, therefore, help stakeholders in the government to better regulate acceptance and utilisation of foreign contributions."
In April, the ministry had issued notices to over 3,000 NGOs for not filing their annual returns from 2011-12 to 2016-17. Several NGOs were also found to have disappeared, including 369 in Andhra Pradesh, 431 in Uttar Pradesh, 299 in Delhi, 71 in Jharkhand, 126 in Madhya Pradesh, 519 in Maharashtra, 43 in Chhatisgarh and 262 in Bihar. Last year, the ministry had also cancelled the FCRA licences of 166 NGOs operating from Delhi, including that of the Public Health Foundation of India and the Centre for Alternative Dalit Media. Similarly, after a crackdown in Andhra Pradesh, the licences of 454 NGOs were cancelled.
Anil Chaudhary, coordinator of Delhi-based NGO INSAF, told Firstpost that the government had recently eased a few FCRA norms, with which voluntary organisations violating the rules may get away with it by paying a penalty. This move will only aid corrupt civil society groups and risk punishment for the good ones. INSAF's FCRA licence was cancelled in 2013, and the Centre had also turned down its application for renewal, citing adverse inputs received from a security agency. In an affidavit, the government had said INSAF had violated provisions of the FCRA by transferring foreign funds to 15 non-FCRA registered NGOs and individuals who had actively campaigned against nuclear power plants and genetic modified foods.
"The fate of NGOs did not change even after the government changed from UPA to NDA," Chaudhary said. "Both governments targeted NGOs doing significant work in various fields. They need to understand that if violations can be negated by paying a meager penalty, it will help only the corrupt NGOs. On the other hand, the government and its agencies already have mechanism in place to monitor movement of funds from one account to another of all NGOs receiving foreign funds. All entries in the bank accounts are duly reported to the government. Why the government requires more and intense monitoring is beyond comprehension."
Foreign funding allegedly used to derail projects
In June 2014, an Intelligence Bureau report had revealed that some foreign donors cleverly disguise their donations as funding for protection of human rights, getting a just deal for people displaced by projects, protection of the livelihood of indigenous people, protecting religious freedom, etc.
"A significant number of Indian NGOs (funded by some donors based in the US, UK, Germany and Netherlands) have been noticed to be using people-centric issues to create an environment that lends itself to stalling development projects," said the Intelligence Bureau report reviewed by Firstpost. "These foreign donors lead local NGOs to provide field reports, which are used to build a record against India and serve as tools for the strategic foreign policy interests of western governments. Also, Dutch government-funded NGOs have slowly shifted focus from human rights in Kashmir to the twin issues of violence against women and prevention of extractive industries in the North East."
In 2015, following reports that several NGOs were allegedly involved in anti-national activities, the government had asked spy agency Research and Analysis Wing to verify the antecedents of the donors and source of funding when the amounts exceed Rs 1 crore. The Centre had also said no foreigner can be an office-bearer or trustee in an NGO but can be associated only in an honorary capacity.
A three-tiered monitoring system
The government has argued in favor of setting up a mechanism to monitor the source of funds, which is the lifeline of voluntary organisations, and continue to monitor their expenditure. Last year, several government departments had worked out guidelines to create an enabling environment for civil society groups that could stimulate their enterprise and effectiveness and also identify mechanisms through which the government could work with voluntary organisations on the basis of mutual trust and shared responsibility while ensuring transparency and accountability. The Ministry of Rural Development had suggested uniformly instituting a three-tier monitoring mechanism for central government departments — comprising an in-house monitoring process — state-level and district-level monitoring committees as well as an independent third-party monitoring system, which may be operated by government think-tank NITI Aayog.
"Monitoring should not only look at the physical and financial aspects but also quality aspects," the ministry had suggested in its draft guidelines. "Norms should be applied for the number of visits by monitoring entities and completion of a project should be linked to satisfactory performance. Performance audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, wherever necessary, at the ministry level or sector level may be done periodically. Fund-based accounting may be introduced for earmarked funds by the NGOs, and all grants received from the government should be separately accounted for."
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Applications Open for Health, Education and Environment is open
Last date 4th June 2018
Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in the area of rural development can apply for HCL grant, which is a funding from HCL Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of HCL Technologies.
Nidhi Pundhir, director - CSR and Head of HCL Foundation, said the commitment this year for HCL Grant is Rs. 16.5 crore. NGOs can apply for projects in the areas of environment, education, or healthcare, all related to rural development. The applications will be scrutinised by sectoral, financial, and management experts. There will be field-level verification for selected NGOs. Short-listed ones will go to the jury from each category for final selection. Three NGOs will go for the final selection in each category. The winning NGO will get Rs. 5 crore for a five year project and the other two will get Rs. 25 lakh each.
For more information please visit: http://hclgrant.hcltech.com/#About
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
FCRA Department has issued a notice to 3292 to organizations who have not filed their annual return for the period from 2011-12 to 2016-17.
As per this notice, all these organizations have been given a time limit of 15 days (i.e. till 8th May 2018) to submit their return. The status of the submission of annual return will be reviewed after 15 days of issue of the notice. If any organization failed to submit the same, penal action will be taken against them.
It may be noted that evn if you have not rec'd Foreign Contribution during the above years, nill return must be filed. You can download the list of all these organisations from the link given below.
Please help us in sharing this information widely amongst all NGOs.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
This is to bring to your kind attention that FCRA department has issued a Notice dt. 24.04.18 providing yet another opportunity for NGOs to submit their pending Annual FCRA Return for the years 2011-12 to 2016-17. It is to be noted that earlier, vide notification no II/21022/36(207)/2015-FCRA –II dt 12.05.17 FCRA department had provided one month time i.e. from 15.05.17 to 14.06.17 for filing of the pending returns without any penalty. However, it has been observed that various organisations have not complied with the requirement. The FCRA department therefore provides this final opportunity to submit your pending Annual Returns, failing which necessary action will be initiated under Sec 14 of FCRA 2010 against the defaulting organizations.
The list of the organizations has been provided. For viewing the list of the organizations and Notice please click on the link here below:
All concerned organizations are requested to do the needful at the earliest. The time period given for filing of pending returns is 15 days from the date of issue of notice.
Friday, April 27, 2018
Greetings from FMSF!
After the successful completion of "Organizational Capacity Enhancement Program-Phase I" 2017-18. Financial Management Service Foundation (FMSF) in association with Oracle India is pleased to announce the Phase-II of Capacity Building Program for NGO's entitled "Scalable & Replicable Model of Accountability". For further details on FMSF, please visit our website www.fmsfindia.org
This program provides a unique opportunity for the NGO's to develop their Governance and Financial Management system. It is a one year program, wherein every organization selected will undergo two workshops focusing at "Strategic Management level" and "Operational Management level" in the areas of Governance, Financial Management and Legal Compliances. This will be followed by mentoring and guiding support which will span over a 6 months period. At the end, every organization who will successfully complete the program will be accredited by FMSF and Oracle India for a period of one year.
During the Phase-I, 30 organizations of four states in North India participated and successfully completed this one-year process. Out of them 26 organizations had been accredited as "Scalable & Replicable Models of Accountability" in their respective states. Thus showcasing best practices of accountability and accredited as replicable model for other NGOs in their states.
At the current Phase-II, organizations of five states: Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Chhattisgarh are invited to apply for this program. This program is being conducted with the generous support of Oracle India and therefore the participating NGO's do not have to make any financial contribution/fees for enrolling in the program.
The programme aims to create centers of excellence by infusing concepts, tools and techniques that will lead to development of robust systems and processes and take the organization towards higher echelon of accountability standards. The other immediate benefits envisaged are:
· Compliant to legal regulations
· Professionalization of financial management practices
· Higher visibility in the sector,
· Attract potential foreign and national funding,
· One year Accreditation by FMSF and Oracle India.
This program is targeted towards small and medium scale voluntary organizations who have limited access to funding, technology and professional expertise. The bifurcation of small and medium scale organizations will be done on the basis of annual turnover .i.e.:
Ø Small organization- 50 lakhs to 1 crore rupees
Ø Medium organization -1 crore to 5 crore rupees
The applying organizations should have:
ü Incorporation certificate
ü 12A registration certificate
ü Valid FCRA registration certificate (if any)
ü Organization operational since last 5 years etc.
In the second phase, 30 NGO's each in small and medium category will be selected from the following states:
· West Bengal
NGO's who come from the above mentioned states which fulfill the above mentioned eligibility criteria are requested to fill in the "Online Application" in the link given below:
· The last date of registration is 20th May 2018.
The shortlisted organizations will be sent a confirmation mail of their selection by last week of May 2018. Further, process will be communicated accordingly to the selected organizations.
Incase of any further clarification or information required, please write to Ms. Akrita Bharos, Capacity Building Officer at email@example.com.
With warm regards
Dr. Sanjay Patra
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Individuals, campaigners and activist groups working in the non-government/non-profit sector have been battling to stay afloat in these times of scarce funds.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play a crucial role in influencing change in the society and also in upliftment of the weaker sections. Thousands of NGOs in India operate in almost all major sectors of the country, such as, health, education, rural development, food security, etc. There is a long list of potential sectors with varied scope of work right from the grassroots.
However, NGOs often function around a blurry line when it comes to acquiring capital, and usually rely on donations, charity, government-funded campaigns, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and foreign funding. Foreign funding for NGOs is regulated by the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) of 2010 and about 30,000 NGOs in India are registered with FCRA as eligible to obtain foreign money.
Reportedly, only last year as many as 6000 NGOs feared cancellation of their FCRA license. The issue was of non-compliance of the provisions of FCRA, and the Union Home Ministry issued show cause to all demanding explanation, and filing of the missing annual returns pertaining to five financial years.
Well recognized international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and People's Watch have all been targeted under FCRA norms.
People's Watch has had their license suspended and bank account frozen by the government three times since 2012. They had to eventually approach the Delhi High Court to get a ruling in its favour. U.N. experts have said they are stunned by the way India implements their laws, and that the FCRA is "overly broad and vague" and the government uses it to frustrate its critics, according to a report by Thomson Reuters.
While the Modi government has been severely strict with non-profit organizations regulated under FCRA and has said that the groups that don't disclose information on foreign funding indulge in "anti-national" activities.
Foreign investment is actively encouraged in all key sectors in India, but when it comes to the non-government groups that work for the vulnerable and marginalized, the government has been known to keep a strict stance. In this article, we will try to look at the relevant provisions of the FCRA and how NGOs and NPOs (Non-Profit Organizations) can procedurally raise foreign funding.
Is your NGO eligible?
Under the FCRA, 2010, all companies, associations, societies as well as NGOs need to fulfill certain criteria to be eligible to receive foreign funds. Registration with the Central Government is usually important, but there is also a separate provision of prior permission for case to case basis.
As FCRA is a broad legislation that regulates foreign contribution in all organizations, an organization must have a defined cultural, economic, educational, religious, or social programme to be first eligible to accept foreign contribution. For registration under FCRA, the organization must have been in operation for at least 3 years, whereas for prior permission no such minimum years of operations are required.
Eligibility for grant of registration
1. Should be registered under an existing statute like the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, or the Companies Act (1956 or 2013), etc.
2. Having been in operation for 3 years
3. Should not have a parent society already registered under FCRA
4. No foreigner should be on the board of this aforementioned society
Apart from just being in operation for 3 or more years, the organization must also submit proof of activities undertaken in its chosen field of operation. The organization must have also spent at least Rs. 10,00,000 over the last three years on its aims and objectives, excluding administrative expenditure. Statements of Income & Expenditure which are duly audited by a Chartered Accountant are also to be furnished for the same.
A separate bank account must also be maintained by the organization which is solely for the purpose of foreign transactions, and no other funds must be kept in this account. This is applicable for registration and prior permission both.
Eligibility for grant of prior permission
An organization in its early stage may not be eligible for registration. Such organization may apply for grant of prior permission under FCRA, 2010. Prior permission is granted for receipt of a specific amount, from a specific donor, and for carrying out specific activities/projects.
An association or an organization can receive foreign contribution without registration only with prior permission from the FCRA department. Such prior permission for foreign contributions can only be received under these circumstances-
1. Should be registered under an existing statute like the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, or the Companies Act (1956 or 2013), etc.
2. Should submit a specific commitment letter from the donor indicating the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is proposed to be given;
3. For Indian recipient organizations and foreign donor organizations having common members, FCRA Prior Permission shall be granted to the Indian recipient organizations subject to some conditions.
When can you apply? Is there a time limit?
No. There is no specific time limit prescribed under the FCRA for making an application. Normally registration under FCRA is granted after 3 years of active existence, therefore, the application should be made after three years, though nothing in the Act prevents them from making such application earlier.
However, form FC-3 (the form required to apply for registration and prior permission), provides for uploading of past three years audited statement. On the basis of the requirement of form FC-3, it is normally understood that application for registration under FCRA can only be after 3 years of the creation of the organisation.
However, the Hon'ble Supreme Court's view in this matter in the case of STO vs. K.I. Abraham  20 STC 367, was that the rule making authority had no power to prescribe any time restriction. Infact, the FCRA rules also do not provide any restrictive time limit. It is only the requirement of Form FC- 4 (as per the old forms) as well as Form FC-3, which requires 3 years audited statements and activity reports. Such requirements are directory and general in nature and therefore, should not be construed as a mandatory requirement of the FCRA.
Consequently, in our opinion, although the application for registration under FCRA can be filed any time after the registration of the organisation, but, the organizations with a considerable past history of activities have a greater chance of convincing the FCRA authorities with regard to the genuineness and the relevance of their purpose. Even your organizational structure can be of much importance in getting an FCRA registration. To learn about the underlying realities and other practical challenges with respect to registration and prior permission, you can visit here.
For prior permission, an application under form FC-3 can be made any time after the legal constitution of an organization. Although the same clause of form FC-3 requires submission of details of activities of past three years and three years audited statements, but where the organisation is less than three years old, it can submit the documents for lesser number of years as may be available. Prior permission can be obtained at any time, for a specific reason and time duration.
What are the documents required to apply?
A long list of documents is required as proofs to apply for registration or prior permission with the FCRA.
· Registration Certificate of Association
· Memorandum of Association/Trust Deed
· Commitment Letter from the donor organization and agreement
· Project Report for which FC will be received
· Audited statement of accounts of past three years.
· Activities Report of past 3 years.
· If the association is a registered Trust or Society a certified copy of the registration certificate.
· Copy of the Memorandum of Association and/or the Articles of Association as applicable.
· A copy of the latest commitment letter from the donor.
· A copy of the proposal / project which has been approved by the foreign source for funding, including projected outlays, budget breakups.
· Details of names and addresses of the members of the Executive Committee/Governing Council etc. of the Association.
· Copy of any prior permission granted to the organization.
· List of present members of the Governing Body of the organisation and the office bearers.
· Copy of any Journal or other publication of the organization.
· If the association is having any parent or sister or subsidiary organisation which is registered under the FCRA then the registration number along with Ministry of Home Affairs file number should be mentioned.
· If the association has submitted any application earlier then its reference number should be mentioned.
· If the association has received any foreign contribution with or without the prior approval of the Central Government, then the detail should be given.
· Details of Bank along through which the foreign contribution shall be received.
· A recommendation certificate from any competent authority, if any.
· Copy of certificates of exemption or registration issued by the Income Tax Department u/s 12A, if any
How to make best use of these foreign funds?
The FCRA and the use of foreign money in India has been heavily scrutinized in the past. So much so, that the FCR Act has been asked to be scrapped off by many stakeholders. According to a report, major foreign donors continue to be churches, priest organizations, and other religious organizations year after year.
Evidently, the major sectors like rural development, education of the poor, health, etc. are being ignored when it comes to foreign funding. Also, according to a press release, the registration of about 15,000 NGOs has been cancelled since 2014. This is obviously a huge number and the main reason is the non-compliance of provisions of the FCRA.
Clearly, the government is not ready to grant any levay to organizations who are entitled to access foreign money but do not follow the correct procedures of doing so or later use the money for unassigned purposes. The lack of thorough knowledge and improper structural organization of your NGO can also lead to cancellation of your licenses. All essentials of FCRA and foreign funding for NGOs and NPOs can be understood and learnt here.
All funds received by an NGO must be used only for the purpose for which they were received. Such funds must not be used in speculative activities identified under the Act. Except with the prior approval of the Authority, these funds must not be given or transferred to any entity not registered under the Act. Every asset purchased with such fund must be in the name of the NGO and not its office bearers or members.
Various such conditions are imposed for the use of foreign funds, and many NGOs are known to be under constant scrutiny for not aligning with these conditions. Moreover, anti-national and other illegal activities are also suspected to be undertaken by various organizations with the use of these foreign grants. There is a high trust deficit around NGO operations and their workings are always under a close eye by the government.
The role of NGOs and NPOs is crucial in bringing a much needed change in the Indian society. If you are the owner of an NGO or planning to a start an NGO for the greater good, be responsible, and know the laws.
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