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Centre asks NGOs to validate bank accounts for foreign contributions within 15 days

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday directed 2,025 NGOs to validate their foreign contribution designated accounts with banks and inform the same to the home ministry within the next fortnight.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

In a circular, the home ministry said all NGOs which were registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) should receive donations from abroad in a single designated bank account.

However, it is seen that a number of NGOs have not validated their foreign contribution designated accounts causing problems for the banks to comply with the FCRA provisions that they (banks) report to the central government within 48 hours of such receipt or utilisation of foreign contribution.

"These associations are required to validate their foreign designated accounts and also the utilisation accounts within 15 days and send the details, including the bank branch, code, account number, IFSC etc," joint secretary (foreigners) in the home ministry Mukesh Mittal said.

The home ministry also announced a list of 2,025 NGOs which have not yet validated their FCRA designated accounts.

The Modi government, which has tightened the rules for NGOs, has already cancelled the registration of more than 10,000 organisations in the last three years for allegedly non-filing of annual returns as mandated in the FCRA.

In addition, renewals of more than 1,300 NGOs have been denied or closed in recent past for allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA.

Recently, the home ministry has asked nearly 6,000 NGOs to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy.

The move was initiated after it was detected that many NGOs have their bank accounts in cooperative banks or state government owned apex banks or banks which do not have core banking facilities.

In May, the home ministry had directed all FCRA registered NGOs to submit their annual income and expenditure records by 14 June failing which the registration will be cancelled.

The order came after it was found that many NGOs have not filed their annual returns for five years — 2010-11 to 2014-15.

In November 2016, the government had directed more than 11,000 NGOs to file applications for renewal of registration by 28 February, 2017.

Of the above, 3,500 NGOs have filed applications for renewal till February 2017. Registration of more than 7,000 NGOs was deemed expired due to non-filing of renewal applications.

Updated Date: Jun 07, 2017 21:11 PM

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