The National Commission for Women (NCW) in 2015 had blacklisted at least 100 Women NGOs after they failed to provide expenditure details of the grants they received from the body.
The Commission was having tough time to get details of over Rs 15 lakh already released to these NGOs across the country in the last eight years (2007-2015). Richa Ojha, Senior Research Officer, NCW, then said,
The NGOs have not submitted the Utilization Certificate (UC), original bills, vouchers, reports, photographs, in spite of reminders and show cause notices. UCs are records that track whether the money granted to NGOs has been used for the purpose for which it was sanctioned.
These are very old cases that we are trying to resolve these. After stern notices sent to these NGOs, few of them have come and submitted the documents. But these documents are yet not complete.
Ojha also added,
We always give time to the NGOS to submit the required documents before blacklisting them. But we have strict norms for justifications for the money granted to them.
These cases are pending for past seven to eight years but we only granted the partial money. We refused to grant the left over money in dearth of original and genuine proofs.
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The commission conducts seminars, workshops and conferences and sponsors such events by providing financial assistance to research organisations and NGOs. The important areas covered include violence against women, educational, health and employment aspects, women in agriculture sector, women in Panchayat Raj, custodial justice, mental health institutions, etc. Officials say that there may be cases of misutilisation of funds. Most NGOs might have taken the first instalment and disappeared without giving any proofs so fraud can also not be ruled out.
To name a few, Silda Swasti Unnayan Samiti received a partial grant of Rs 1.4 lakh for conducting a two-day state seminar on child marriage in West Bengal in 2008 but had not submitted the documents for the event. Similarly, Nobel Social and Education Society Pradesh, for conducting a regional seminar on implementation and working of PNDT Act 1994 in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, was also granted Rs 1.4 lakh in 2010 for which the appropriate bills and documents had not been submitted then.
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The commission was also finding it hard to recover the grant from the defaulters, who failed to comply with the schedule prescribed. Ojha had quoted,
All ministries grant money to NGOs for such programmes and might face similar problems. In recent past, there have been cases of scams in the NGOs and the public money has been siphoned by people.
In order to avoid any such scam, we have now solely made the process of granting money online. This reduces the scope of corruption.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had then implemented the online NGO proposal tracking system which is also being followed by the National Commission for Women. According to reports, the Union and state governments give yearly grants worth Rs 1,000 crore to various NGOs.
Please note the above article had been published by India Today in 2015.
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