Restructuring of Grant Distribution Need of the Hour

Even as the Social Justice Department (SJD) is considering to make government auditing compulsory for all orphanages, a comprehensive restructuring of the distribution of grant-in-aid to orphanages seems to be the need of the hour.
Restructuring of Grant Distribution Need of the Hour

KOZHIKODE: Even as the Social Justice Department (SJD) is considering to make government auditing compulsory for all orphanages, a comprehensive restructuring of the distribution of grant-in-aid to orphanages seems to be the need of the hour.

As per the law, it is mandatory for the orphanage management to furnish details of financial assistance received by the institution or its parent body or affiliated bodies from foreign sources, while applying for grant-in-aid.

The investigation by ‘Express’ has already exposed that majority of orphanages in the state, especially those in North Kerala, have given false undertaking that they are not in receipt of any foreign aid.

Further enquiry by ‘Express’ has now revealed that those who have furnished details of foreign support have hardly submitted details regarding foreign contributions being received by their parent bodies or affiliated bodies.

Sacred Heart(SH) Orphanage, Poovarany, Pala, and St Joseph’s Balika Bhavan, Kuruvilangad, while applying for grant-in-aid from the Social Justice Department (SJD) in 2012-13, maintained that they received Rs. 2,39,209 and Rs. 3,84,384 respectively as foreign aid from CNEWA (Catholic Near East Welfare Association) through Catholic Bishop’s House, Pala.

At the same time, Sneha Sadan Orphanage, Kaduthuruthy, received Rs. 2,07,314.61 as foreign aid - according to FC-6 return statement - from CNEWA through Catholic Diocese of Pala, Kottayam.

St Antony’s Orphanage, Pallipurathussery, Vaikom, also filed FC-6 return stating that it received foreign aid of Rs. 2,20,565.22 through Bishop’s House, Ernakulam in 2012-13.

But, the report of the Local Fund Audit says both orphanages did not receive foreign aid in the fiscal. Significantly, the FC-6 return statement of Catholic Near East Welfare Association India, Kakkanad, says it received a whopping Rs. 12,35,85,101 as foreign aid in 2012-13 and the purpose of utilisation of Rs. 7,97,85,029 is shown as ‘welfare of the orphans,’ which means, all the orphanages that might have received foreign aid through CNEWA did not disclose details before the SJD.

Besides, there are discrepancies in the data submitted by the managements to the SJD and to the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) division under the Ministry of Home Affairs in the same fiscal.

For instance, the documents submitted by Boy Town, Karoor in Kottayam to SJD says it received Rs. 10,75,000 from foreign sources in 2012-13 period.

But, the FC-6 return statement filed by the organisation for the same fiscal shows a receipt of Rs. 12,39,515.01. Similarly, documents shown by Sacred Heart Balanagar to SJD says it received a sum of Rs. 10 lakh. However, the figure in FC-6 return statement is Rs. 13,76,043.

“At present, SJD does not have access to all the accounts maintained by orphanages. Due to this, officials cannot check the foreign contributions received by an institution or its parent body.

“Managements, which secure grant-in-aid, always maintain two separate accounts. While applying for grant, they submit only one account, which often comprise two sources of income- management advance and government aid,” said a senior official with the SJD, preferring anonymity.

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