As many as 3,768 NGOs across the country have been directed by the Home Ministry to validate their foreign contribution designated accounts with banks, failure of which will invite penalty. In a circular, the 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 such organizations 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 utilization of foreign contribution.
These associations are required to validate their foreign designated accounts and also the utilization accounts immediately and send the details, including the bank branch, code, account number, IFSC etc, Joint Secretary (Foreigners) in the home ministry, Mukesh Mittal said. The 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 canceled the registration of more than 10,000 non-governmental organizations in the last three years for alleged 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 also 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. The home ministry recently had cancelled registration of 10,256 NGOs which failed to file their annual income and expenditure records.
In November 2016, the government had directed more than 11,000 NGOs to file applications for renewal of registration by February 28, 2017. Of the above, 3,500 NGOs have filed applications for renewal until February 2017. Registration of more than 7,000 NGOs was deemed expired due to non-filing of renewal applications.