The Centre has suspended FCRA registration of 156 NGOs for six months for violation of rules, preventing them from receiving foreign funds, and revoked the restriction order imposed on 36 other organisations that compiled with the guidelines. In a notification, the Home Ministry said the 156 NGOs have failed to comply with the order to open their accounts with 32 designated banks which follow the central government's Public Financial Management System (PFMS), and contravened the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) 2010 despite repeated directives.
"And whereas, in exercise of the power conferred by section 13 of the FCRA, pending consideration of their certificates, the central government has suspended the registration under the FCRA 2010 of the said associations for a period of one hundred and eighty days," the notification said. The Home Ministry also said 36 NGOs have compiled with its order and opened their bank accounts in PFMS-integrated banks and their suspension order has been revoked.
Suspension of the FCRA registration means the NGOs and entities cannot accept funding from abroad, an official said. The FCRA 2010 provides for the regulation of acceptance of the foreign funds or foreign hospitality by certain individuals, associations, organisations and companies "to ensure that such contributions or hospitality is not being utilised for the activities detrimental to the national interest", the ministry had said.
The 32 designated banks where individuals, NGOs and other entities can open their accounts include Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ICICI Bank, Cosmos Co-Operative Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, South Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd, Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank, IndusInd Bank Limited, City Union Bank and Syndicate Bank.
The rest of the designated banks are Allahabad Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad UP Gramin Bank, DCB Bank Ltd, Manipur State Co-op Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd, Yes Bank, Oriental Bank Of Commerce, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank and Axis Bank.
The PFMS, which functions under the Controller General of Accounts in the Ministry of Finance, provides a financial management platform for all plan schemes, a database of all recipient agencies, integration with core banking solution of banks handling plan funds, integration with state treasuries and efficient and effective tracking of fund flow to the lowest level of implementation for plan scheme of the government.
It also provides information across all plan schemes or implementation agencies in the country on fund utilisation leading to better monitoring, review and decision support system to enhance public accountability in the implementation of plan schemes. Introduction of the PFMS resulted in effectiveness in public finance management through better cash management for government transparency in public expenditure and real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes.
(With inputs from agencies.)