KATHMANDU, June 14: Tightening the screws on international non-governmental organizations, the government has made it mandatory for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) to submit the property details of their office bearers and employees to the authorities concerned, for the renewal of their registration or while seeking new registration.
Last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), in consultation with the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen, took a decision to this effect. Officials at MoHA said the decision was aimed at making the functioning of I/NGOs more transparent.
As per the new decision, the NGOs should submit the property details of their office bearers and employees to the district administration offices (DAOs) concerned. Similarly, INGOs should submit the property details of their office bearers and employees to the Social Welfare Council (SWC).
MoHA has issued circulars to all the DOAs and the SWC to implement the new decision. All registered INGOs are required to renew their organizations with the start of the new fiscal year.
The acting SWC director confirmed that the SWC has already received a copy of the new decision. He said that the SWC is reviewing the existing laws and regulations to implement the decision with regard to the INGOs.
As for NGOs registered at the DAOs, the authorities have already notified the NGOs about the new mandatory provision on submitting property details .
Spokesperson of MoHA Ram Krishna Subedi said that the new measures have been introduced following multiple rounds of meetings between Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa and Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa. The meetings were attended by the secretaries of the two ministries and other officials concerned. The measures are aimed at making the NGOs and INGOs more transparent and efficient, it is stated.
SWC records show that there are over 40,000 NGOs and 247 INGOs that are registered in Nepal. Lately, I/NGOs have drawn criticism from various quarters for incompetence and misuse of funds.
Meanwhile, MoHA has asked the DAOs to allow NGOs to carry out their activities only in a particular field. The NGOs which are active in various sectors should now amend their statutes and select a particular field for their operations.
Likewise, in its circular to the DAOs, the ministry has directed them to ask the NGOs active in their respective districts to compulsorily submit quarterly reports of their activities, including financial details. Until now, they were required to submit their reports to the authorities annually.
Likewise, NGOs that have not renewed their registration for the last three years have been given a 15-day deadline to do so now or face termination of their registration.
Chairman of the Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations Gopal Lamsal has criticized the new decision. He said it was against the spirit of the Associations Registration Act, 2034.
“We are going to hold talks with the ministry to withdraw the new decisions, or else we will be forced to seek legal remedy as the decisions are against the spirit of the existing laws,” he added.