<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Months after ordering audits, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to explore enacting a law to regulate the government funds disbursed to the NGOs and prosecution in cases of misuse and misappropriation of funds, and non-filing of annual statements.Expressing its unhappiness over the current regulations, the SC observed that the existing ones were insufficient to monitor lakhs of NGOs across the country.”We get to know that Rs 950 crore is being given in total to all NGOs every year. This is a phenomenal amount… tax payers’ money. Since 78 ministries and departments were granting money to NGOs, a law on regulating funds and work by NGOs would be much better. Inform us in eight weeks whether you want to streamline NGOs through guidelines or through legislation,” a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar told the government.During the course of the hearing, the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), a government agency under the aegis of the Ministry of Rural Development, said it had initially blacklisted 718 NGOs for not submitting accounting details. It had also recommended registration of 159 FIRs against various NGOs for misappropriation or misuse of funds disbursed to them.On April 5, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted these guidelines in court and on direction from a bench, a copy which was given to Amicus Curiae Rakesh Dwivedi.Apart from Dwivedi, all states and Union Territories have also been invited to pursue these guideline and give suggestions accordingly.The order for the guidelines came on the heels of a petition filed by advocate ML Sharma, who submitted that NGOs should be regulated.According to the draft, all NGOs/VOs are expected to register themselves on the NITI Aayog website, with NGO Darpan acting as a nodal agency. All requests for registration, accreditation and funds from the Union will be done through here.Upon registration, each NGO will be provided a unique ID. The organisations would be subjected to the laws under Income Tax Act and the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act. The NGOs will be monitored and their past track record will be taken into account before any accreditation is granted. In the event no work is done, they money granted for that specific purpose will be refunded along with a 10 per cent interest. If funds are misappropriated, criminal investigations against key officials associated would be initiated and the NGO blacklisted.The database would be maintained by NITI Aayog and information of the NGOs would be available on the website.In its previous order, the SC had also directed a financial audit of all NGOs/VOs by March 31, 2017 to bring accountability in the public money disbursed to these NGOs. During the previous hearing, Dwivedi had cited a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report which said there are more than 20 lakh NGOs receive funding from the Centre. However, only 10 per cent of them filed annual income and expenditure statements.The NGO-Partnership System (NGO-PS) Portal (NGO-DARPAN) maintained by the NITI Aayog invites all voluntary organisations, NGOs to sign up on the portal.
VOs/NGOs get a system generated Unique ID, as and when they sign up.
The Unique ID is mandatory to apply for grants under various governmental schemes.
The portal facilitates creation of a repository of information about VOs/NGOs.