NGOs draw huge money from foreign countries in the name of religion, but avoid legal transparency

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued notices to 10,300+ NGOs for not submitting Annual Accounts under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA 2010).  As per Section 18(1) of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA 2010) and Rule 17(1) of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules 2011 (FCRR 2011), associations registered under FCRA 2010 are required to submit annual report in Form FC-6, accompanied by an income and expenditure statement, receipt and payment account, balance sheet etc for every financial year beginning on the 1st day of April within nine months of the closure of the financial year, to the Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi.

The notice document also specifies that this list also contains NGOs which has not submitted the mandatory annual returns for the years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.

By law, these NGOs are punishable – just like individuals who don’t file Income Tax Return or organizations which don’t file Income Tax Return. To understand the distribution of defaulter NGOs , we analyzed the data.

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Defaulter NGOs per State
Defaulter NGOs per State

The maximum number of defaulter NGOs reported by the government are from Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. We also noticed that except Manipur, counts of defaulter NGOs from North Eastern states were less 100. We analyzed and segmented texts in the available data. It would have been very tough to pull all the information from these 10,000+ NGOs, therefore we used Association Name as our primary data. As expected, the prominent keywords included standard words like education, hospital, development, welfare, trust, society.

Keywords used by most of the NGOs
Keywords used by most of the NGOs

To scratch the next layer of ideologies operating in NGOs, we removed common words from the document which are used to lure donations; it included – Development, Society, Trust, Welfare, Rural, Association, Vikas, Education, Mandal, Kalyan, India, Social, Mahila, Charitable, School, Hospital, Health. The word cloud which evolved from the remaining texts was very interesting. As soon as the first layer of popular keywords was removed, we found religion to be playing a pivotal role:

Keywords identified after removing basic words
Keywords identified after removing development related words

It is interesting to note that many of these defaulter NGOs are named with Church, Convent, Methodist, Christ, Christian, Mandir, Evangelical, St, Sri, Sangh. We also used keywords like Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain, etc. to filter NGOs which are directly drawing money in the name of religion. It is obvious that Christian Missionaries which run hospitals, schools or churches are receiving good share of foreign money as NGOs.

However, this defaulter NGO list also indicates that

a) Missionaries are drawing lots of money, but they operate as Black-Boxes and avoid transparency.

b) If the government questions these NGOs, media and liberals can always twist this as an attack on Christians and Churches of India.

Another notable observation is that Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia is also in the list. Any action against his organization will or can be given a political twist.

The central Government has already hinted that roles, and existence of NGOs are under their scanner, but with a wide scope of social, religious and political twists, it would be interesting to see how the government handles these cases.


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