NGOs directed to open a/c in any designated bank within a month
MPost BureauNew Delhi: The Home Ministry has directed all NGOs, business entities and individuals who receive funds from abroad to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks, including one foreign, within a month for a higher level of transparency.
It also asked them to ensure that such funds are not utilised for activities detrimental to the national interest.
The directive to the NGOs, companies and individuals to open foreign contribution accounts in banks, which are integrated with the central government's Public Financial Management System (PFMS), came for providing a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance, according to the ministry order.
The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 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 are not being utilised for the activities detrimental to the national interest", it said.
Therefore, in the exercise of the powers conferred under the FCRA, 2010, the central government at this moment directs all persons who are either registered or who have sought prior permission under the FCRA 2010 to open their bank accounts as mandated in one or more banks in the list of the 32 banks, the order said.
This exercise shall be completed expeditiously within one month (by 21-01-2018) with an intimation of the details of the bank accounts to the ministry under a prescribed form, it said.
The central government has already decided that all banks where the FCRA registered persons and organisations have opened their foreign contribution accounts would be integrated with the PFMS for providing a higher level of "transparency and hassle-free" reporting compliance.
While some banks have already integrated their systems with the PFMS for compliance of the central government's order, many banks have still not completed the integration of their systems with the PFMS despite repeated letters, directions and meetings, the home ministry said.
The 32 designated banks where individuals, NGOs and other entities can open their accounts include: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ICICI Bank, The 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, The Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank, IndusInd Bank Limited, City Union Bank and Syndicate Bank among others.
Currently, around 10,000 FCRA-registered NGOs are operating in the country.