NGO under Scanner for Diverting Funds

Published: 22nd June 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2015 03:40 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI:  A Chennai-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) has come under the Income-Tax Department scanner for allegedly diverting funds received for welfare of children to Christian religious institutions. A senior I-T official told ‘Express’ that Caruna Bal Vikas has been collecting donations worth `100 crore every year from US-based Compassion International. “Of this, only 10 per cent is being used for the welfare of children. The rest of the funds is diverted to 300 organisations, which have been registered as religious and socio-religious institutions,”said the official. The official charged that the funds are suspected to be used by the Christian outfits for conversion.

As per the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, the organisation to which the fund is directed should also be registered with FCRA, and it should also be a social organisation. When I-T officials verified the background of the 300 organisations in the Ministry of Home Affairs website, it was found that only one-third of them are charitable organisations, with the rest being socio-religious and religiousinstitutions.  Under the FCRA, money meant for social purposes can’t be diverted for socio-religious and religious purposes. I-T sources said a probe into the funds of Caruna Bal Vikas was launched in March 2013. “We carried out the assessment for the year 2010-11 which was completed in 2013 and the demand raised was `28.59 crore. Similarly, assessment for the year 2011-12 was completed in 2014 and the demand raised was `30.20 crore. Assessment carried out in 2012-13 raised a demand for `28.91 crore,” said the official.

Once the I-T Department raised the demands, Caruna Bal Vikas was shut down and a new company called Adhane Management Consultants Private Limited came into being, in May 2014.

It was run by Aswin Paul, the same CEO of Caruna Bal Vikas. This new company started paying taxes.

However, Compassion International started giving funds directly to the 300 organisations.The I-T official said 40 per cent of the 300 organisations are in South India, of which 20 per cent are in Tamil Nadu.

The agenda of Compassion International is apparently to bring children out of physical, emotional, social and economic poverty and make them ‘Christian’ adults. The I-T sources allege that Compassion International gets generous funds from the US under the Adopt a Child in India programme.As much as $20 a month is given to Compassion International to fund a child in the development centres being run by the 300 institutions.

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