KOZHIKODE: Orphanages which receive huge donations from foreign sources every year should stop availing the state government’s grant-in-aid, Social Justice Minister M K Muneer has said.
He was responding to a series of Express articles exposing the fraudulent manner in which orphanage managements had been claiming the grant-in-aid after concealing records related to foreign contributions.
“I’ve gone through the reports in Express and a meeting was held to discuss the issue. My appeal to orphanage managements who have substantial funding from foreign sources is that it will be better if they do not claim the grant-in-aid. This will help the government channel the money towards the welfare of other deprived sections of society,” he said late on Friday.
Referring to the malpractice of concealing foreign aid, Muneer said: “It is unfortunate. We will never tolerate misuse of the grant-in-aid. The government will definitely probe it and steps will be taken to recover the funds fraudulently claimed by the managements in the previous years.”
There should be transparency in the functioning of orphanages irrespective of their religious backgrounds, the minister said.
“To ensure this, the government will soon take appropriate measures including the complete implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act. We are also considering a social audit of fund utilisation of all orphanage managements as is being done in the case of NGOs” he said. Currently, the Local Fund Audit Department audits accounts of only those orphanages which receive the grant-in-aid. Hence, the authorities are clueless about the actual income and expenditure of other orphanages.