Although the UPA Government has embraced FDI in multi-brand retail sector with open arms, it is treading cautiously in rolling out the red carpet to foreign NGOs willing to pump in dollars in the social sector.
Local offshoots of two widely known international NGOs - Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) and ‘Absolute Returns for Kids’ had a taste of the Centre’s strict guidelines when their applications, seeking prior permission to receive funds through parent organisations, were put on hold by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
“The Government is more than willing to go the extra mile to check the antecedents of trusts and companies sending and receiving huge sums to and from these NGOs before granting clearance under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act,” sources said. According to officials, there are no adverse reports against the two NGOs. MSF is an international medical humanitarian organisation headquartered in Geneva, while ‘Absolute Return for Kids’ is a UK-registered limited company which aims to transform children’s lives and provide facilities in health, education and child protection across the globe. However, the Centre wants to take a hard look into their funding pattern to prevent money laundering activities under the garb of social funding.
“The Home Minister (Sushil Kumar Shinde) has agreed to factor in the views of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, RAW and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) before giving the go-ahead,” officials added. Express had earlier reported on the Centre’s proposal to re-examine and amend the existing clause in the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) to bring in stringent laws to counter suspicious transactions in the NG O sector.