Thousands of NGOs get foreign money but don’t report itApril 14, 2014
India’s home ministry has found that the number of non-governmental organizations receiving funds from outside India is on the rise, and that most of the groups receiving the foreign funds aren’t reporting it as they are required to do under the law, highlighting the vulnerability that such funding goes toward terrorist purposes.
Some of the external funding involved comes from Western nonprofits that send money to Islamic front charities or alleged Kashmiri relief groups that are actually turning over the cash to jihadi militants.
India isn’t alone in the struggle to get nonprofit organizations to disclose foreign sources of funding. Compliance in the U.S. with the Foreign Agents Registration Act is a joke. Penalties for noncompliance with 501(c)(3) filing requirements are miniscule. The tendency for regulators globally is to be tougher on existing groups that have gone through the registration process rather than on discovery of groups that have failed to register.
These noncompliant groups need a site visit from the police. The policemen can wait while a manager at the NGO completes the required paperwork.
From the Daily Mail‘s India edition:
Government warns of NGOs’ vulnerability to terror funding and money laundering
By Abhishek Bhalla
PUBLISHED: 21 March 2014
Thousands of NGOs which receive foreign aid, many of whom do not file returns on such contributions, are vulnerable to terror funding and money laundering, the home ministry has warned.
Though there are more than 22,000 NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), intelligence inputs indicate that there are many others that work secretly and are not registered.
On the other hand, 19,000 of the registered organisations do not file returns on foreign contributions.
Foreign funding for NGOs has risen by almost 12 per cent in 2011-12, with Rs 11,549 crore being pumped into these organisations from abroad every year, according to the home ministry’s latest report on the FCRA.
According to the report, foreign contributions worth Rs 2,253 crore come for activities other than the most common causes listed by the Ministry of Home Affairs for foreign contributions.
The common sectors for foreign funding are rural development, welfare of children, health, awareness camps and religious purposes.
“We need to know where this money is being used. We need to coordinate with the authorities of the donor countries and crack down on some of these NGOs,” said an official in the home ministry.
The five major donor countries are the US, Britain, Germany, Italy and Netherlands. Countries like the UAE, Mauritius, Austria, Sweden and Spain are also among the top 15 donor nations…