India has one cop for every 940 people, an NGO for 535

Dhananjay Mahapatra

The Times of India

NEW DELHI: CBI on Monday raised a question mark on NGOs in the country, informing the Supreme Court that of the more than 22 lakh NGOs in various states, less than 10% had filed their balance sheets on grants received and their expenditures with the authorities.

CBI collated data from 20 states and seven UTs, and informed the court that 22,45,655 NGOs were operating in the states. Of these only 2,234,78 NGOs, that is 9.9%, have filed their returns.

The number of NGOs will be much more as it did not include data from MP, Odisha, TN, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. Taking India’s population to be 1.2 billion, there appears to be an NGO for every 535 people. According to home ministry data, at present India has one policeman for 940 people.

Supreme Court concerned

Hearing a PIL by advocate ML Sharma on regulating the NGOs, a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu and justices AK Sikri and RK Agrawal expressed concern over a large majority of them not filing accounts of receipt and expenditure with the Registrar of Societies.

It asked additional solicitor general PS Patwalia, “Why NGOs should not be asked to mandatorily maintain appropriate accounts?”

Patwalia suggested that NGOs could be asked to submit accounts for the previous three years to be eligible for receiving grants. The bench asked the Centre to file its suggestions on the issue.

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