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Aug
05

Mind-boggling’ number of NGOs in India: CBI

Editors Note: India’s Central bureau of Investigation has “informed the Supreme Court that the country has a mindboggling number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and counting them has become a difficult task as most do not file fund audit reports with authorities.”

The Times of India

NEW DELHI: The CBI on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that the country has a mindboggling number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and counting them has become a difficult task as most do not file fund audit reports with authorities.

Appearing for the CBI, additional solicitor general L N Rao told a bench of Justices H L Dattu, R K Agrawal and Arun Kumar Mishra that in West Bengal, there were around 2,34,000 NGOs but only 16,000, that is about 8%, had filed their audited reports on receipt of grants and expenditure.

The court had in September last year entrusted the CBI with the gigantic task of compiling information about all registered NGOs in the country, their funding and audit reports after advocate M L Sharma filed a PIL alleging irregularities in an NGO linked to social activist Anna Hazare.

The CBI, through senior advocate K Radhakrishnan, told the court that “the information received so far from the states ran into lakhs of pages and the work involved is extremely voluminous”. The CBI said “no information has so far been received from Gujarat and Tamil Nadu in spite of reminders”.

“Information from Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra and Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Delhi has been received only partly,” the agency said.

The bench asked, “Has the CBI done anything about the NGOs which have been identified and data about whom have been compiled?” It said the CBI must find out how many of the NGOs have submitted audit report of their expenses.

Rao sought three more months to complete the exercise. The bench agreed and asked the agency to compile the information sought by the court and file a report in three months.

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