NGOs To Be Treated As ‘Public Servants’, Have To Declare Assets

New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) published an article titled “NGOs To Be Treated As ‘Public Servants’, Have To Declare Assets.” The article reads in part as follows:

“NEW DELHI –┬áNGOs or non-profit organisations, that receive more than one crore rupees in government funds or more than 10 lakhs as donation from abroad and their office-bearers will now be considered public servants and will have to declare details of their assets and liabilities and those of their spouses and dependent children by July 31 this year, the Centre has said.

This follows its decision to bring such organisations under the jurisdiction of the Lokpal or national ombudsman. The Lokpal law provides that every public servant must make public his assets and liabilities and that of his spouse and dependent children.

It will apply to “any person who is or has been a director, manager, secretary or any other officer of a society, association of persons or trust wholly or partly financed by the government and the annual income of which exceeds Rs. 1 crore,” a senior personnel ministry official said.

NGOs say they have grounds to challenge the order. Sources say the NGOs have reached out to the Prime Minister and are hopeful of a resolution.

“We respect the core idea of transparency, but this notification misses the fundamental point and ends up penalising individuals doing pro bono service, “said Amitabh Behar of the National Foundation of India.”

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