NGO watch

With 10,000 NGO registrations cancelled, foreign aid is set to drop

India receives foreign contributions from 165 countries, of roughly 200 countries identified by the World Bank.

Foreign funding for Indian non-governmental organisations doubled in 2014-'15 over the previous year, but with 10,000 NGO registrations cancelled in 2015, foreign contributions are likely to drop, according the latest data on foreign contributions.

Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh (unified), Karnataka and Kerala together got 65% of foreign aid coming to India, the data, tabled in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) on July 26, 2016, revealed.

Of Rs 45,300 crore in foreign funding to Indian NGOs over four years – 2011-'12 to 2014-'15 – Rs 29,000 crore was received by organisations in the national capital and these four (five after Telangana) states, an IndiaSpend analysis reveals.

Organisations in Delhi received Rs 10,500 crore, while each of the five states – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra – received close to Rs 5,000 crore over the past four years.

Source: UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1603, July 26th 2016, Lok Sabha, figures in Rs crore
Source: UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1603, July 26th 2016, Lok Sabha, figures in Rs crore

There are 33,091 NGOs registered to receive foreign funds – under the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act – after the registrations of 10,000 NGOs were cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2015.

Some of the reasons for cancellation of NGO registrations are: not filing returns, misutilisation of funds and accepting funds for “prohibited activities”, which include funding legal costs of bail, writ petitions of Indian NGOs and their activists, and undisclosed payment of salaries by foreign NGOs to foreign activists.

Foreign funding doubled in 2014-'15 to Rs 22,137 crore compared to Rs 12,000 crore in 2013-'14.

Source: UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1603, July 26th 2016, Lok Sabha  Note: For NGOs with contributions more than Rs one crore
Source: UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1603, July 26th 2016, Lok Sabha Note: For NGOs with contributions more than Rs one crore

Foreign funds

India receives foreign contributions from 165 countries, of roughly 200 countries identified by the World Bank.

Health, education and child-welfare together received Rs 4,500 crore ($ 690 million) of the Rs 12,000 crore received in 2011-'12, according to our analysis of the 2011-'12 annual report of the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, the latest available.

Source: Annual Report of FCRA, 2011-12
Source: Annual Report of FCRA, 2011-12

While NGOs associated with religious activities collected Rs 870 crore, NGOs with research activities got Rs 539 crore in 2011-'12.

Funds to the government

As many as 109 international organisations, including various branches of the United Nations, World Bank, World Health Organisation, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation and Asian Development Bank, are not treated as a foreign source while funding projects in India.

“The World Bank funding in 2013-'14 was $5.2 billion (Rs 33000 crore). This funding goes to the government and not to any NGO,” wrote Professor Trilochan Sastry of Association for Democratic Reforms, an advocacy, in this blog post.

A writ petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court by ADR to constitute an independent body to administer enforcement of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. The case is currently being heard.

This article first appeared on IndiaSpend, a data-driven and public-interest journalism non-profit.

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