CBI: Only 10 % of the NGOs have filed their balance sheet
In 2013, a PIL was filed by M L Sharma who had sought investigation into the alleged misuse of funds by Anna Hazare's NGO Hind Swaraj Trust. The Apex court expanded the scope of the petition had ordered a CBI probe into the functioning of all NGOs in the country to examine whether they are filing annual balance sheet before the authority which registered them. The CBI had initially pleaded that the task be handed over to states expressing difficulty in collecting information on NGOs, but the plea was summarily rejected by the Apex Court.
There are about 25 lakh Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) across the country indulging in various social or philanthropic work mamny of whom receive aid from the government and abroad. In a report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) before the Supreme Court, it has been revealed that only 10 per cent of the NGOs have filed their annual income and expenditure statements. The CBI has said in the report that out of 22,39,971 NGOs in 20 states from which the information was compiled (information from the rest of the states is awaited), only 2,23,428 have filed their balance sheet.
As per information obtained through RTI by Asian Centre for Human Rights, the Union and state governments have released Rs. 6654 crore to various NGOs between 2002 and 2009, which comes to an annual average of nearly 950 crore. Further, the available data for the financial years 2010-2013 shows that about 22,000 NGOs received a total of more than $3.2 billion from abroad, of which $650 million came from the US. According to details received from six union territories (Delhi awaited), it was found that only 50 out of 5,684 NGOs, which translates into one percent, filed proper statements before the authority which registered them. The CBI requested the court to grant three months time for compiling the entire information. No information has been received from Tamil Nadu and Telengana while part information is awaited from Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Delhi.
The CBI suggested that a precondition must be set that only those NGOs shall be eligible for a grant by the government which has filed the statements of three preceding years. A Supreme Court bench headed by chief justice H L Dattu asked the CBI counsel to complete all compilations fast to enable initiation of the arguments. The bench said “Let us see why these NGOs cannot be asked to maintain complete record and submit them to the authority which registered them. This is important for transparency."
As per the data compiled, the number of NGOs and those which have filed a balnce sheet is as under:-
· Uttar Pradesh - Total 5, 48,148 NGOs registered out of which only 1,19,000 have filed their balance sheets.
· West Bengal - Total 2, 34,000 NGOs registered, out of which only 17,089 have filed their balance sheets.
None of the NGOs in the the following states have filed a balance sheet before the authority which registered them:
· Rajasthan (Total NGOs registered 1,36,978),
· Assam (Total NGOs registered 97,437),
· Himachal Pradesh (Total NGOs registered 52,394),
· Punjab (Total NGOs registered 84,752),
· Kerala (Total NGOs registered 3,69,137),
· Meghalaya (Total NGOs registered 15,032),
· Nagaland (Total NGOs registered 4,491),
· Tripura (Total NGOs registered 6,679)
· Manipur (Total NGOs registered 1,640), and
· Goa (Total NGOs registered 553).
In the Union Territories Chandigarh (Total NGOs registered 3,981), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Total NGOs registered 611) and Laksadweep (Total NGOs registered 612), none of the organisations have filed their annual income expenditure statement before the authority which registered them.