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Misusing NGOs: 188 foreign donors under scanner for laundering

Misusing NGOs 188 foreign donors under scanner for laundering New Delhi, Apr 8 (PTI) With the government tightening norms of fundings to Non-Governmental Organisations, security agencies alleged that nearly 200 foreign donors were indulging in money laundering under the garb of donating money to some of the NGOs.

Economic wing of central security agencies has shared a list of 188 foreign donors to the Home and Finance ministries as well as relevant departments for keeping a check on their donations, official sources said.

The list has been handed over to Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for necessary action as deemed fit by the departments, they said.

Immediately after Narendra Modi government took charge at the Centre, some of the NGOs, which were allegedly indulging in stalling power and nuclear projects were issued notices to submit their returns of funding received from abroad.

The NGOs have decried the move of the government saying that it was indulging in witch hunting and trying to throttle the opposition to projects, that these groups perceived as threat to environment.

However, unfazed by the opposition voiced by the NGOs, the Government has been scrutinising the NGOs and licenses for collecting foreign funds of over 100 such groups, mostly belonging to Andhra Pradesh, were cancelled earlier this year.

India Inc has alleged that the NGOs indulging in malafide agenda against them by unnecessarily highlighting unverified issues to halt industrial projects across the country.

The Home Ministry had issued notices to more than 31,000 NGOs for not filing mandatory annual returns on their foreign contribution under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), the sources said.

A total of 10,343 associations were issued notices last year for not filing annual returns for 2009-10 to 2011-12. Similarly, 21,493 NGOs were issued notices in 2011-12 for not submitting annual returns for 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 under the FCRA, they said.

In a written reply to Parliament last month, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had said adverse reports were received from intelligence agencies against NGOs such as Tuticorin Diocesan, East Coast Research and Development Trust, Thoothukudi, Centre for Promotion and Social Concerns, Madurai and Greenpeace India Society, Chennai.

The notice was also issued against NGO Kabir, run by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodiya, for not submitting the annual returns, the sources said.