Friday, December 2, 2016

NGOs need to register with NITI Aayog for grant-in-aid

NEW DELHI: It is now mandatory for all NGOs and voluntary organisations (VOs) to register with NITI Aayog to receive grant-in-aid from ministries or departments of the central government, Parliament was informed today.

"It is mandatory now for all NGOs/voluntary organisations to sign up on NGO-DARPAN portal to obtain a system-generated unique ID before applying for grant under any scheme of central government or ministries," Minister of State for Ministry of Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

The minister further said that as on November 24, a total of 81,353 NGOs/VOs have signed up on NGO-DARPAN portal which has has been redesigned.

Replying to a separate query, Singh said the government has earmarked Rs 150 crore for Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in 2016-17 budget estimate.

Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2016/nov/30/ngos-need-to-register-with-niti-aayog-for-grant-in-aid-1544227.html

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Latest


Call for Proposals extended for C2U Expo, 2017!

When the idea of community-campus partnerships was in its first stages of growth, researchers and community groups alike had very few resources available to them to which they could turn for guidance. The C2UExpo movement began in Canada to address this dearth, and provided individuals involved in community-campus partnerships with a forum through which they could share experiences, strategies, and ideas. Organized biannually, C2UExpo explores the edge of community-college-university partnerships as catalysts for social innovation. In 2017, C2UExpo is being hosted by Simo Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada from May 1-5, 2017.

If you want to share your ideas on community-campus collaboration – For the Common Good – but didn’t have the time to submit, now’s your chance. There’s still room for more proposals, especially if you are a community organization, or if you are partnered with one. So, the last dates for call for proposals has now been extended up to December 5, 2016 till 23:59 PDT.

So, hurry and submit your proposals NOW!

For more information, visit: http://www.c2uexpo.ca/call-for-proposals

India accused of muzzling NGOs by blocking foreign funding

Modi’s government revokes licences of 25 organisations over ‘anti-national activities’ as pool of foreign-funded bodies shrinks by almost half in two years

At least 25 Indian NGOs have lost licences to receive international funding because of their “anti-national” activities, while a further 11,319 have lost licences for failing to renew them, shrinking India’s pool of foreign-funded organisations to a little more than half the number it was two years ago.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the licences were revoked because the NGOs “failed to meet legal requirements” under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) (pdf) of 2010. The move could mean that some NGOs reliant on international funding will be forced to close.

Many of the 25 NGOs received notices saying their licences would be cancelled based on the government’s “field reports”. They said they were not given any indication of which laws they had violated or what the field reports said.

Henri Tiphagne, executive director of social justice and human rights organisation People’s Watch, said the decision to revoke his NGO’s licence was the latest in a series of moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party to quash opposition.

“The government is determined to see no dissent. I completely uphold the principle that NGOs should be transparent and that is why we have been filing all the documents, and we have even put our accounts from the last 10 years on our website,” he said. “But the government should at least give us a reason why they have taken this step, so if we need to appeal the decision we know what we are appealing against. …

“It’s harassment for the NGOs. When things go wrong, we speak up. Perhaps that is what is irritating the government.”

Dunu Roy, director of the Hazards Centre – which also lost its licence – said: “All we know is that there is a field agency report, but we don’t know which field agency, or what the report says, or when it was written. They can’t take one-sided action like this. If they found a genuine reason that we should not operate, then they should tell us that reason.”

Charities said that, with the bulk of their funding cut, they would find it difficult to keep operating in India. Anil Chaudhary, who heads the Indian Social Action Forum (Insaf), another NGO that lost its licence, said: “Around 85% of our funding comes from foreign donations. Now we cannot receive foreign funds and we cannot operate our accounts.”

Many NGOs had opposed the government’s draconian laws by refusing to file renewal documents. They argued that human rights and environmental groups that campaign against Modi’s corporate-friendly development programmes were being targeted by the government.

Modi’s latest cull is part of a growing antipathy towards NGOs as India tries to modernise its infrastructure and push economic growth. In February, Modi said NGOs were acting as fronts for foreign lobby organisations or terrorist groups conspiring to destabilise India and defame him.

In 2014, a leaked Intelligence Bureau document to Modi said foreign-funded NGOs that highlighted issues such as caste discrimination, human rights or environmental concerns were part of a “growth-retarding campaign” to discredit India at international forums. Under his government, major international charities including Greenpeace have been targeted by the government.

A joint statement from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said the government was using the FCRA to muzzle NGOs. “The law’s use of broad and vague terms such as ‘public interest’ and ‘national interest’ have left it open to abuse,” read the statement.

It added that in May the government temporarily suspended funding licences for the Lawyers Collective, citing alleged violations under the FCRA. “The charges appeared to be politically motivated because of their work in routinely representing people in cases against the current government, including Priya Pillai of Greenpeace India and Teesta Setalvad, an activist who has been seeking justice for victims of the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat.”

Three UN special rapporteurs have urged Modi to repeal the FCRA, which they say is being used increasingly “to silence organisations involved in advocating civil, political, economic, social, environmental or cultural priorities, which may differ from those backed by the government”.

Home ministry spokesman KS Dhatwalia said he would not comment on why NGOs had been targeted by the government. “Obviously, the government has no personal agenda against these NGOS. The NGOs know there are certain regulations they are supposed to follow. If you do not follow the law of the land, your licence will be removed. It’s as simple as that.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/nov/24/india-modi-government-accused-muzzling-ngos-by-blocking-foreign-funding

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FROM NGOs FOR CONDUCTING COMMUNITY BASED ACTIVITIES IN SLUMS UNDER SMART CITY INTERVENTIONS

Please visit BMC tender link at: http://bmc.gov.in

Authorized Portal - Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation

http://portal2.bmc.gov.in/Files/CitizenInfo_23112016051816PM.pdf

FCRA's Empathy for 11,319 NGOs

About 11,000 NGOs had not applied for renewal of FCRA registration by 30-Jun-16 in online form FC-3. Their FCRA registration has lapsed on 31-Oct-16. They cannot accept any foreign contribution after this date.

FCRA Department has now extended the deadline for filing renewal application. These 11,319 NGOs can visit fcraonline.gov.in and apply online for renewal.

Reasons for not applying in time should be provided in writing. The letter giving these reasons should be scanned and uploaded with the application. If your old returns have been filed, and the reasons for lapse are genuine, the Department will likely renew your registration.

Last date for submitting form FC-3 for renewal is 28-February-2017.

However these 11,319 NGOs can still not accept any foreign contribution till their registration is actually renewed.

Only NGOs named in the list can use this facility. Presumably other pending cases (out of 1736 closed cases) cannot

Final chance for renewal of FCRA Registration

Giving a final chance, the Government has decided to ask more than 11000 NGOs who’s FCRA was not renewed since their applications were not filed online by 30th June to submit fresh application for the renewal of FCRA Registration.

The FCRA department is sending emails and in case mobile number is available, SMS to all these NGOs to provide the necessary documents along with complete application to home ministry to get their registration, granted under the Foreign Contribution Registration Act (FCRA), renewed.

A total of 11,319 NGOs lost their foreign funding licence as they failed to renew their registration within stipulated deadline of June 30 this year.

After the Centre’s decision to cancel registration of these NGOs, the number of outfits permitted to receive foreign funding has come down to around 19,000. Till two years ago, the country had around 42,500 FCRA-registered NGOs.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Home Ministry Asks 800 NGOs to Complete Paperworks by February 2017

New Delhi: Around 800 NGOs, whose FCRA registration was lapsed after they failed to renew their licence, were asked by the Home Ministry to complete their paperworks by February 28, 2017.

"As many as 11,319 NGOs have lost FCRA licence after they failed to renew it. Of them around 800 NGOs paperworks were deficient and they may now re-apply by February 28, 2017," a Home Ministry official said.

The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

In addition, the Centre also denied renewal of FCRA registration to 25 NGOs after they were allegedly found to be involved in anti-national activities.

The 25 NGOs' operations in the country are "contrary" to the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) and allegedly anti-national, an official said.

A total of 16,491 applications were received by the Home Ministry for renewal of FCRA registration and out of which 14,730 were granted renewal.

Source: http://www.news18.com/news/india/home-ministry-asks-800-ngos-to-complete-paperworks-by-february-2017-1314643.html





Centre blinks, give time till February 28 to NGOs to renew their FCRA licence

With days of national human rights commission (NHRC) admonishing the union home ministry on allegations of "draconian approach" over the renewal of FCRA licences, the ministry has given time till February 28, 2017 to about 12,100 NGOs to renew their licences.

Besides 11,319 NGOs who had lost their FCRA licence after failing to submit papers online, registration of 1,736 NGOs had also lapsed on October 31 the last date of renewal.

Basing its observation on UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly analysis's report the NHRC said, "Prima facie it appears FCRA licence non-renewal is neither legal nor objective and thereby impinging on the rights of the human rights defenders both in access to funding, including foreign funding."

The UN Rapporteur noted that FCRA is not in conformity with international law, principles and standards as access to resources including the foreign funding is a fundamental part of the right to freedom of association under the international laws, standards and principles.

The DNA had earlier written that the union home ministry could find itself on a weak wicket as the NGOs are planning to take the legal route after they found that the ministry was using FCRA section dealing with renewal to cancel their FCRA, thus

The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

"As many as 11,319 NGOs have lost FCRA licence after they failed to renew it. Besides, around 800 NGOs whose paper work was found deficient may now re-apply by February 28, 2017," a home ministry official said.

Earlier this month, the ministry had announced that FCRA licences of 11,319 NGOs whose registration was expiring on October 31, 2016 and which needed to apply for renewal by June 30,2016 were \"deemed\" cancelled from November 1, 2016.

It also closed the FCRA renewal applications of 1,736 NGOs who applied within the deadline but failed to submit the complete documents, but gave them time till November 8 to complete their documents. After nearly half of these NGOs managed to explain the lack of documentation, the home ministry allowed renewal of about 800 entities.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-centre-blinks-give-time-till-february-28-to-ngos-to-renew-their-fcra-licence-2276057

Home Ministry asks 800 NGOs to complete paperworks by Feb 2017


The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

A total of 16,491 applications were received by the Home Ministry for renewal of FCRA registration and out of which 14,730 were granted renewal.

Around 800 NGOs, whose FCRA registration was lapsed after they failed to renew their licence, were asked by the Home Ministry to complete their paperworks by February 28, 2017.

“As many as 11,319 NGOs have lost FCRA licence after they failed to renew it. Of them around 800 NGOs paperworks were deficient and they may now re-apply by February 28, 2017,” a Home Ministry official said.

The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

In addition, the Centre also denied renewal of FCRA registration to 25 NGOs after they were allegedly found to be involved in anti-national activities.

The 25 NGOs’ operations in the country are “contrary” to the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) and allegedly anti-national, an official said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/home-ministry-asks-800-ngos-to-complete-paperworks-by-feb-2017-4390294

Final chance for 11,000 NGOs for renewal of foreign funding licence

Giving a final chance, the Union home ministry has decided to ask more than 11000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to submit their applications afresh for the renewal of FCRA licence.

“We are sending emails and in case mobile number is available, SMS to all these NGOs to provide the home ministry necessary documents with complete application to get their registration, granted under the Foreign Contribution Registration Act (FCRA), renewed,” said a senior home ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A total of 11,319 NGOs lost their foreign funding licence as they failed to renew their registration within stipulated deadline of June 30 this year.

After the Centre’s decision to cancel registration of these NGOs, the number of outfits permitted to receive foreign funding has come down to around 19,000. Till two years ago, the country had around 42,500 FCRA-registered NGOs.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/final-chance-for-11-000-ngos-for-renewal-of-foreign-funding-licence/story-Ctbu0UQQH3DcYFKlEjZsoJ.html

Final chance for 11,000 NGOs for renewal of FCRA licence

Giving a final chance, the government is all set to ask 11,319 NGOs to submit their applications afresh for the renewal of FCRA licence, failing which it will be cancelled permanently.

"We will soon tell these NGOs to avail the opportunity to renew their FCRA registration. If they fail to do so, their registration will lapse permanently," a Home Ministry official said.


The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

As many as 1,736 NGOs, including Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Mata Amritnandmayi Math and Church of South India Diocese of Madras, have failed to renew their registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act within the stipulated date of June 30.

The NGOs were given time till November 8 for submission of non-complete applications for FCRA licence renewal with all relevant documents to avoid the cancellation.

However, most of them failed to take the opportunity.

In addition, the Centre also denied renewal of FCRA registration to 25 NGOs after they were allegedly found to be involved in anti-national activities.

The 25 NGOs' operations in the country are "contrary" to the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) and allegedly anti-national, an official said.

A total of 16,491 applications were received by the Home Ministry for renewal of FCRA registration and out of which 14,730 were granted renewal.
In 2015, the Union Home Ministry cancelled FCRA

registration of 10,000 NGOs because they did not file their annual returns for three years in a row.

Many of these organisations were defunct or did not want the FCRA registration in any case.

The Centre's decision brings down the number of not-for-profit organisations permitted to receive foreign funding to 20,500, less than half of what it was two years ago when 42,500 were registered under FCRA, 2010.

FCRA 2010--which replaced a 1976 law by the same name-- ended the system of permanent registration, and required NGOs to seek renewal of their licence every five years.

The validity of FCRA registration of the NGOs was extended till October 31, 2016 but they were required to submit applications for renewal of registration by June 30.

In its original form, the FCRA was enacted apparently to restrict flow of foreign funds to civil society groups during the 1975-77 Emergency.

Parliament had passed a stringent version of the FCRA in 2010, with the Congress-led UPA government insisting that NGOs that rely on foreign funds had to be prepared for greater scrutiny.

The Modi government has so far cancelled registration of more than 22,000 NGO for various alleged lapses.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/final-chance-for-11-000-ngos-for-renewal-of-fcra-licence-116112101216_1.html

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Decision on 1,736 FCRA Renewal Cases

On 2nd November, FCRA Department notified names of 1,736 NGOs whose FCRA renewal was stuck due to documentation issues. They were given time till 8th November to file their replies or documents.

The FCRA Department has now reviewed these cases. Renewal has been granted in many cases. In other cases, the application for renewal has been refused. If you have not received the email yet, you can check your status at fcraonline.nic.in. Click on the link for 'Validity Verification of FCRA Certificate'.

If your certificate has been renewed, you can start receiving FC funds again. If it has been refused, please consult your auditors / advisers about whether you should file an appeal.

Monday, November 21, 2016

India Fight Black Money - The details

BSNL launches digital online education

BSNL has launched an education service in partnership with M/s Probit Plus Pvt. Ltd in AP and Telangana circles. Known as ‘BSNLECLASS,’ it is aimed at providing uniform quality education for both urban and rural students at affordable costs under Ekranthi project of Government of India. The programme seeks to improve competitive skills of students of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana circles. For details, visit BSNL website www.bsnleclass.in

NGO Foreign Funding – FCRA

Context:

GoI in the recent past has banned many NGOs-both domestic and Indian arm of foreign NGOs on the pretext of violation of FCRA

Why?

Many of them were found to be violating some provision of the act in some manner, for example Greenpeace India was banned for exceeding the cap on administrative expenditure.
Many NGOs were put on MHA’s watch list on request of the state government, e.g. Ford foundation was put on watch list on request of Gujarat government.

Pros of government actions:
It will help in countering activities which are detrimental to the economy. E.g. It is suspected that UK based groups are funding agitation against Kudaikunal power plant which is very crucial to energy need.
Will help in bringing transparency to finances of such NGOs and their activities. Out of 22 lakh NGOs only few filed tax return last fiscal year.

Cons of government actions:
Government can use these provisions to stifle NGOs which are against its policies.
Ford Foundation, Green Peace International etc. have substantial influence in international arena and thus it may impact India’s image.

What is the current practice in regulation of NGOs?

· NGOs are regulated under FCRA and FEMA. The Home Ministry monitors foreign funds donated to NGOs and organisations through the FCRA. And, FEMA is regulated by the Finance Ministry.

· Currently, there are nearly 100 international NGOs and associations which receive foreign funds through their liaison offices and disburse them to NGOs across India. Few international donors are registered under FEMA but not the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

· Many NGOs and foreign donors do not want to register under the FCRA due to its stringent provisions.

What Home Ministry wants?

The Home Ministry has asked the Finance Ministry to surrender its powers to monitor non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). This move is aimed at bringing all NGOs which receive foreign contributions under one umbrella for better monitoring and regulation. It will help in better regulation of such funds.

Other Issue:

Foreign Firms can now fund political parties

What happened?

The government has admitted that the amended Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, which they brought in through the Finance Bill route, will not only help foreign-origin companies to fund NGOs here but has also cleared the way for them to give “donations to political parties.”

Response from Opposition
This is subversion of democracy, the FCRA amendment was brought in through the Money Bill route and passed without any discussion in Parliament.
This reflects the government’s authoritarian character, it will only fulfil the agenda of certain people

Source: http://www.ias4sure.com/wikiias/gs2/ngo-foreign-funding-fcra

Demonetization and NGO – Dos and Don’ts

We know the current scenario of demonetization of old currency notes of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500. As every day new news coming in, it is difficult for us to decide what should be the correct step to deposit old notes.

Earlier, Trust and NGOs were already under the radar of the Government before demonetization, now we can predict that more strict control coming in near future.

Let us discuss today about dos and don’ts by NGOs in a Question Answer Round.

Q – Can old notes be deposited in NGOs Bank Account and what is the time limit?

A – Yes, old notes can be deposited in NGOs Bank Account till December 30.

Q – How much cash can be deposited?

A – As such no limits, but not more than the CASH ON HAND AS ON 8th NOV.

Q – Can we take cash donation in Old notes now?

A – No. After 8th Nov, old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes are not valid tender.

Q – Can we take donation in cash in back dated and thus create more cash balance as on 8th Nov?

A – I suggest NO. Just two days back, not confirmed but, IT (Exemption) of Mangalore has issued notices to NGOs to submit authorized copy of cash books as on 8th Nov with denomination.

Q – Can we deposit cash in FC in old notes?

A – Yes you can deposit old notes in FC account but not more than cash balance of FC books as on 8th Nov. I suggest if the cash balance is not much amount get it exchanges with new notes.

Q – What about staffs advance already given before 8th Nov in old notes?

A – Do not take bake the advance and deposit in the Bank. It is advisable to ask staff members to exchange it.

Q – What about Donation boxes lying outside the offices like at airports, malls etc..?

A – Immediately get all the donation boxes back and record its cash on books as donation and keep photographs before and after opening of boxes or record a video at the time of opening of boxes with the current date newspaper. So that later, NGO can prove that the donation boxes open after 8th Nov and there were old notes which were deposited in the bank.

Q – What is advisable regarding taking donations between 8th Nov to 30th Dec..?

A – As a genuine NGO, one should not accept any donation in CASH during this period. If you received donation in new notes, kindly take the proof of the donors and keep the bank deposit slips.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Tax Notice to Trusts & NGOs on OHD

On 8th November, the Government recalled 500 and 1000 rupee notes (OHD). Some persons have apparently started using tax exempt trusts to launder their OHD. Or so it would seem.

To prevent this, Income Tax Department is sending notices to all tax exempt trusts. The notices are being issued under sec. 133(6). The Trusts are being asked to submit information on cash balance in hand as on 31-Mar-16 and 8-Nov-16. This will help the Department put a cap on the amount of OHD these trusts can deposit in their bank.

If you don't respond to the notice in time, and yet deposit a lot of OHD in bank, you may face:

1. penalty of Rs. 100 per day under sec. 272A, or

2. Scrutiny of your accounts during assessment.

If you’ve not received the notice yet, don't worry. You soon will!

And even if you don't, stay safe and don't yield to temptation. Any attempt to launder large amounts for others will be easily detected. And you may face scrutiny for earlier years as well.

HC refuses to defreeze NGO's a/c to use foreign funds

New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today refused to defreeze an NGO's account enabling it to use its foreign funds as the Centre claimed the decision not to renew the foreign funding registration under FCRA was taken in "public interest".

"I am not inclined to give any interim relief with regard to defreezing of the petitioner account. I will have to hear it and than decide the issue," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.

It further observed that Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in their sealed cover report, which was perused by it, has stated that they have inputs of the intelligence agencies in relation to the renewal of licence and the foreign funding.

The court, however, asked the MHA to file its counter affidavit within three weeks asking it to give reasons for refusing to renew registration of the NGO, Centre for Promotion of Social Concerns (CPSC), under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

The court has fixed the matter for further hearing on January 17.

Central government standing counsel Anil Soni, appearing for the MHA, defended the decision saying it was done in the "public interest".

"We have right to prohibit foreign contribution which are likely to affect prejudicially the public interest and also the friendly relation with any foreign state," the MHAs' counsel said.

He also said that the government was exempted from giving reasons for refusing to renew the FCRA registrations.

Soni also told the court that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued notice to the Home Secretary after taking suo-motu cognisance of the issue, and has sought a report within six weeks.

The MHA has been asked by NHRC to provide details of the number of NGOs of Human Rights defenders that have not been allowed renewal of licence and the foreign funds received by them over the past three years, as well as the reason for non-renewal, he said.

The lawyer also said how the matter could be taken up by the commission when the high court was dealing with it.

Source: http://www.ptinews.com/news/8093085_HC-refuses-to-defreeze-NGO-s-a-c-to-use-foreign-funds-.html

Delhi HC refuses to defreeze NGO's account to use foreign funds

Delhi HC refused to defreeze an NGO's account enabling it to use its foreign funds as the Centre claimed the decision not to renew the foreign funding registration under FCRA was taken in "public interest". It has asked MHA to file counter affidavit in three weeks.

The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to defreeze an NGO's account enabling it to use its foreign funds as the Centre claimed the decision not to renew the foreign funding registration under FCRA was taken in "public interest".

"I am not inclined to give any interim relief with regard to defreezing of the petitioner account. I will have to hear it and than decide the issue," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said. It further observed that Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in their sealed cover report, which was perused by it, has stated that they have inputs of the intelligence agencies in relation to the renewal of licence and the foreign funding. The court, however, asked the MHA to file its counter affidavit within three weeks asking it to give reasons for refusing to renew registration of the NGO, Centre for Promotion of Social Concerns (CPSC), under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)

The court has fixed the matter for further hearing on January 17. Central government standing counsel Anil Soni, appearing for the MHA, defended the decision saying it was done in the "public interest". "We have right to prohibit foreign contribution which are likely to affect prejudicially the public interest and also the friendly relation with any foreign state," the MHAs' counsel said. He also said that the government was exempted from giving reasons for refusing to renew the FCRA registrations.

Soni also told the court that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued notice to the Home Secretary after taking suo-motu cognisance of the issue, and has sought a report within six weeks. The MHA has been asked by NHRC to provide details of the number of NGOs of Human Rights defenders that have not been allowed renewal of licence and the foreign funds received by them over the past three years, as well as the reason for non-renewal, he said. The lawyer also said how the matter could be taken up by the commission when the high court was dealing with it.

The court was hearing the plea of CPSC, better known by its programme unit People's Watch, which sought setting aside of the government's October 29 decision refusing to renew its registration. The NGO said restriction of its funds "has caused a great amount of harm and it will result in a complete halt of its charitable activities which will affect a vast number of people".

The central government counsel countered saying the NGO continues to operate and only the foreign contribution has been restricted. The MHA had recently denied FCRA registration to 25 NGOs for being allegedly involved in anti-national activities and derecognised over 11,000 such organisations for failing to apply for renewal. CPSC has contended that the only reason it was given for non-renewal of its registration was -- "On the basis of a field agency report, the competent authority has decided to refuse your application for renewal".

It has said in its plea that under the FCRA Rules, its application for renewal was to be decided in 90 days and in case of delay, reasons had to be communicated to it. The NGO has contended that since the prescribed procedures were not followed, its registration would be deemed to have been renewed after expiry of 90 days from March 14, when it had applied for renewal. To this the counsel for the MHA submitted that they are not obliged to inform the NGO about such decision.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-delhi-hc-refuses-to-defreeze-ngo-s-account-to-use-foreign-funds-2274711

Delhi HC refused to pass interim order on renewal of NGO licence under FCRA

The centre submitted in a sealed cover its reasons for not renewing the licence of Centre for Promotion of Social Concerns under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act

New Delhi: The Centre on Friday submitted in a sealed cover its reasons for not renewing the licence of Centre for Promotion of Social Concerns (CPSC), a charitable trust, under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

Delhi high court justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, who was hearing the matter, perused the document and held that he would not pass any interim order.

Sanjay Parikh, counsel for CPSC, told the court that the matter was also being heard by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), due to which the high court should not hear it.

This contention was rejected and it was held that an alternative remedy of approaching the NHRC would not preclude the high court from hearing the matter.

During the hearing, Anil Soni, on behalf of the Centre, told the court that it was not obligated to provide reasons for decisions and the renewal was denied based on inputs from intelligence agencies.

CPSC has sought quashing of the impugned order of 29 October, by which the application for renewal of registration under FCRA was rejected by the Centre. Its FCRA registration was set to expire on 31 October.

The case will be heard next on 10 January.

Source: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/lP7e8X0zWPORSzkcffHxBO/Delhi-HC-refused-to-pass-interim-order-on-renewal-of-NGO-lic.html

Monday, November 14, 2016

Currency Recall - Risk for NGOs

On 8th November, the Government recalled all currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 (OHD). These can be accepted at some merchants (Govt. Hospitals, petrol pumps, etc.) till 14-Nov. Limited amounts (Rs. 4,000) can be exchanged by individuals across bank counters on producing ID proof (Aadhar card). Larger amounts should be deposited back into your bank account.

This move has also started a panic among people hoarding OHD. Reportedly, they are offering large sums (in 500, 1000 rupee OHD notes) to charitable and religious organisations as donations. The thinking is that the currency can be deposited in NGO bank account, and then withdrawn later.

What to do if you receive such an offer? Deposits of OHD into NGO accounts must be backed by genuine book entries and donor details. Tax officers will also correlate this with deposit pattern in the past. If these do not match, they may levy high penalties of 200%+ for laundering of OHD.

You should therefore say NO to any such offers.

Notice


Monday, October 17, 2016

NGOs seek extension of FCRA licence validity till Dec 31

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have petitioned the Union home ministry to extend the deadline for renewing their licence under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). NGOs require an FCRA licence to receive money from foreign donors and they have to submit annual account statements to the Foreigners Division in the ministry of home affairs.

The renewal process started in April this year and FCRA-registered NGOs were asked to apply forrenewal of their licences by June 30.

?While many NGOs have been able to secure their renewals, a sizeable number of FCRA-registered organisations still await an inkling of communication from the FCRA department,? said Voluntary Action India (VANI), which works as an umbrella organisation for other non-profits, in a press release.

Earlier, the ministry had extended the validity of licences expiring on September 30 to October 31. In their petition, the NGOs have asked the government to extend the validity to December 31.

?Non-disbursement of renewals may result in halt of major development projects as many voluntary organisations are involved in various flagship programme of the central government,? said VANI.

Business Standard tried to contact senior officials in the ministry for a comment but phone calls and text messages remained unanswered till the time of going to press.

According to some news reports, the Centre has made it mandatory for the foreigners division to seek security clearancefrom both the Intelligence Bureau and Research & Analysis Wing before granting approval to the NGOs.

The step was taken following the alleged misuse of foreign funds by the Zakir Naik-run Islamic Research Foundation. The Union government has tried to tighten conditions around NGOs, which were allegedly carrying anti-government and anti- national activities in the name of civil rights.

Source: http://indiatropes.com/IndiaTropes/NewsDetailsServlet?A6789DVVE45R456DJFTSY=11205

Environment NGOs Hail Deal to Limit Powerful Greenhouse Gases

KIGALI, RWANDA: Environment NGOs from both India and abroad today welcomed the historic Kigali Agreement to phase down "super greenhouse gases" known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), saying it reflects the emerging reality of the world.

Hailing the agreement reached in Kigali to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by amending the Montreal Protocol, Director General of New Delhi-based Advocacy group Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Sunita Narain said the Kigali Amendment reflected the principal of common but differentiated responsibility.

"It also reflects the emerging reality of a world in which China will have to take more and more responsibility to solve global environmental issues," she said in a statement.

Climate expert and CSE Deputy Director General, Chandra Bhushan, said India went with a clear strategy and a proactive agenda to enhance the overall environmental ambition of the deal and to protect the nation's economic interests.

Praising the Indian negotiation team, he said, the amendment finally agreed to not only protects India's economic interests, but also doubles the climate benefit compared to the previous Indian proposal.

"It will avoid HFC emissions equivalent to 70 billion tonne of CO2," he said.

The amendment is a critical step towards limiting warming and the single biggest climate action of the year, just weeks before leaders meet in Morocco for international climate talks.

The amendment establishes three different timetables for all developed and developing countries to freeze and then reduce their production and use of HFCs.

Developed countries agreed to make their first HFC cuts by 2019. Developed nations have committed to provide additional funds through the Montreal Protocol's Multilateral Fund.

China, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, and more than 100 other developing countries have committed to freeze their HFC production and use by 2024, and make further reductions thereafter.

India, Gulf States, and Pakistan have agreed to make HFC reductions on a slower track.

Climate Action Network (CAN) said the results from Kigali on HFCs as well as the recent outcome on aviation emissions shows that governments are taking the objective of the Paris Agreement seriously.

"CAN hopes that countries will accelerate national ambition over time but soon enough to give a fighting chance for the world to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 C," it said in a statement.

"To aid the switch to newer and safer natural refrigerants, sufficient funding will be required through the Montreal Protocol's Multilateral Fund to enable poorer countries to invest in the new technology. It is vital that developed countries also share their progress on technological breakthroughs," said Benson Ireri, Senior Policy Advisor, Christian Aid.

Source: http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/environment-ngos-hail-deal-to-limit-powerful-greenhouse-gases-1474548

Monday, October 3, 2016

Updating of NGO information

All existing NGOs/VOs are requested to update their information in the NGO-PS portal with Aadhaar & PAN Numbers of their Board members/Office bearers, if not done already


Please visit: NGOdarpan at: http://ngo.india.gov.in

http://niti.gov.in/content/ngo-darpan

The NGO-Partnership System (NGO-PS) Portal (NGO-DARPAN) was earlier maintained by erstwhile Planning Commission, which has been replaced by the NITI Aayog w.e.f. 1st January, 2015. The Portal, therefore, is being maintained at present under the aegis of NITI Aayog. NITI Aayog invites all Voluntary Organizations (VOs)/ Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to Sign Up on the Portal.

VOs/NGOs play a major role in the development of the nation by supplementing the efforts of the Government. This portal enables VOs/NGOs to enrol centrally and thus facilitates creation of a repository of information about VOs/NGOs, Sector/State wise. The Portal facilitates VOs/NGOs to obtain a system generated Unique ID, as and when signed. The Unique ID is mandatory to apply for grants under various schemes of Ministries/Departments/Governments Bodies.


Click here(link is external) to visit NGO Darpan Portal

Saturday, September 3, 2016

GET NGO CURRENT UPDATES

Please Visit Now:
http://www.ngo.in.net

Application for Award of financial assistance To Cultural Organization with National Presence

Ministry of Culture invites applications from the Cultural Organizations with National Presence for sanction of grant under the Scheme

Financial Assistance to Cultural Organizations with National Presence’ for the financial year 2016-17

Last Date to apply:

23 Sep 2016

About the Scheme:

This Scheme is to provide financial assistance to Cultural Organizations with National Presence to meet the expenditure to be incurred on the cultural programmes during the financial year 2016-17.

Eligibility to apply for grant :-

1. The Applicant Organization should be registered in India having an all India Character with national presence and should have operational presence at national/international level.

2. The activities of the organization should be primarily or significantly Cultural.

3. The Organization should have capacity to do at least 20 events/programmes in a year. The Organization should have adequate working strength artistes/staff/volunteers, Organization should have spent Rs.1 crore or more during 3 of the last 5 years on cultural activities.

How to apply for Grant :-

The eligible Cultural Organizations may apply on the prescribed proforma download (Application for financial assistance to cultural organizations with national presence): http://www.indiaculture.nic.in/sites/default/files/Schemes/formnationalpresence.pdf from website provide by Ministry of culture, India. Before applying the Cultural Grant all the NGOs are requested to have NGO portal unique Id by Niti Aayog Portal. Then apply for grant. NGOs need (About Ngo partnership System unique Id: http://ngo.india.gov.in

Applications complete in all respect should be submitted by 23 Sep 2016 at the address mentioned below:-

Section Officer (Parts. I),

Room No.205, 2nd Floor,

D -Block, Puratatva Bhawan, GPO Complex, INA,

New Delhi-110023

More details please see on ministry of culture website:-

Important links:-

Application for financial assistance to cultural organizations with national presence : http://www.indiaculture.nic.in/sites/default/files/Schemes/formnationalpresence.pdf

Scheme for Financial Assistance to Cultural Organisations with National Presence

http://www.indiaculture.nic.in/scheme-financial-assistance-cultural-organisations-national-presence

Ngo partnership System Unique Id Registration Details : http://ngo.india.gov.in

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

MHA wants real-time monitoring of NGOs’ foreign funds

According to MHA officials, some banks currently update their intranet systems with transaction details of these accounts only once in 24 hours.

AN effort to keep track of foreign funds received by NGOs on a “real-time basis”, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the Reserve Bank of India to instruct all banks to link designated foreign contribution accounts to the MHA’s online database through the Core Banking Solutions system and Public Financial Management System.

According to MHA officials, some banks currently update their intranet systems with transaction details of these accounts only once in 24 hours. The MHA wants automatic updates on any activity regarding these accounts.

“Each beneficiary of foreign contribution has a designated account. We have observed that banks are pushing transaction data of these accounts only once in 24 hours and that too is updated manually. We have taken up the matter with the RBI, as we want to ensure that we can track all such transactions on a real-time basis through an automatic reflection in the Home Ministry’s own online system,” said a home ministry official.

“What we have proposed is that all designated accounts of those who receive foreign contributions are linked to the core banking system and the PFMS, which in turn, is linked to our own online database,” the official added.