As per figures released by the Modi government on Wednesday, the foreign funding of India based NGOs has sharply declined to about one-third of what they were receiving in 2015-16.
As reported, the total foreign funding of these NGOs has come down to to Rs 6,499 crore in 2016-17, from a total of Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16.
Such a fall in foreign funding was a result of the Modi government cracking down on NGOs which violated Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), norms.
Also in a statement to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State (MOS) for home affairs Kiren Rijiju informed that, the government has cancelled the license of 18,868 NGOs for FCRA violations over the past six years, which includes the cancellation of 4,842 NGOs in 2017 itself.
When it comes to FCRA norms, the government has been meticulous when it comes to its compliance.
As reported recently, the Modi government had recently revoked the FCRA registration of prominent Indian institutions like the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and IIT-Delhi, because these institutes had not filed their returns for a period of 5 consecutive years from, 2010-11 to 2014-15.
This cancellation of registration meant that these institutes were rendered unable to receive foreign funding.
The government had also directed 1,222 NGOs to validate their bank accounts where they receive the foreign funds, failing which punitive action would be taken against them. Such NGOs included prominent ones like Sri Ramakrishna Math, Ramakrishna Mission and Coimbatore Christian Charitable Trust.
We had reported in the past how a sizeable chunk of Indian NGOs were under the scanner for financial impropriety, which gave their activities a rather shady tone.
This came to light after a 2015 CBI report claimed that, out of about 31 lakh NGOs operating in the country which received their funds from the govt and/or abroad, only a paltry 10% had filed their balance sheet.
On top of it, about Rs 950 crores of the tax-payers’ money every year was being disbursed to various NGOs, as a result of which the Supreme Court noted that a law to regulate their working and funding would be a welcome step.