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India: Cash Crimes Govt Eye on 103 NGOs
Source: hindustantimes.com
Source Date: Monday, January 07, 2013
Country: India
Created: Jan 08, 2013

The government is keeping a close watch on the activities of 103 NGOs and 24 international donors on the basis of information that they may have undertaken suspicious monetary transactions. The development is significant in view of increasing reports of money laundering and terror financing through NGOs and foreign donors.

"127 such entities have been placed on the suspect list. Their activities are being strictly monitored in view of reports that they are being used by criminals and terror groups to bring money into the country for funding anti-national activities or money laundering," said a top government official. "The MEA and RAW have been asked to gather more information on suspicious international donors. The MEA has been instructed to sensitise international donors to the misdemeanours of many NGOs that receive funds from them."

"The I-T department has also been asked to step up monitoring," the official added.

Sources also told HT that the government is mulling appropriate legislative amendments, so as to devise a mechanism to regulate domestic funding. Existing provisions do not require the registration of donors. The Economic Intelligence Committee, chaired by the finance minister, is expected to take up the issue.

The government is also likely to come up with certain alterations in the law, so as to ensure that foreign NGOs do not exert undue control over their Indian subsidiaries. This step has been necessitated by reports that many international NGOs are using their Indian arms to bring in funds that may be used by entities in activities inimical to India's interest. However, the government is handling the issue with care because many genuine NGOs are engaged in bonafide charitable work.
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