266 NGOs fail audit, govt cracks down, to stop grants | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: In a major crackdown, the social justice ministry is set to cancel grants of 266 NGOs working in different fields after a comprehensive audit found them indulging in irregularities or being empty shell bodies created to make gains through government funds.
The first-of-its-kind audit was carried out across the country for NGOs that have been engaged by the ministry in old-age welfare, running of schools and hostels for SCs, and drug de-addiction. The ministry gives grant-in-aid to 1,276 NGOs at around Rs 25 lakh per institution to implement welfare initiatives. It has a budget of around Rs 500 crore for NGOs. Sources said while the ministry had been functioning on the basis of certification provided by district social welfare officers, this year it organised a comprehensive field audit to check the status of the voluntary organisations.
Twenty students were drawn from top institutes like IITs, TISS, DU and other central universities to carry out the audit.
Sources said the results were an eye-opener as 266 NGOs were found to be either woefully inadequate in terms of infrastructure or violating guidelines of the schemes, or being downright fraudulent.
Social justice and empowerment secretary R Subrahmanyam told TOI, “We have done the audit and necessary action is being taken.”
Sources said the 266 NGOs have been given show-cause notice to clarify on the audit findings and their grants are being cancelled. The institutions found to be indulging in grave irregularities are even being blacklisted, which means they will not be eligible in future for government contracts.
Of the total 1,233 NGOs inspected, 164 are associated with “schools/hostels for SCs” of which 44 were found to be non-functional. Out of the 523 NGOs working in the running of senior citizen homes, 120 were detected as non-functional, which is roughly 23%. Around 18% or 102 NGOs of the 589 associated with de-addiction centres were found to be non-functional.
Besides cancellation of grants and blacklisting, the ministry is putting in place correctives to ensure transparency. It has decided to implement a “CCTV system” in all the NGOs engaged, under which stakeholders as well as the ministry will monitor the institutions via CCTV cameras. The system will be operational from next year. A “social audit” is being instituted to enable stakeholders to assess institutions and provide feedback to the government.



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