Danger of loosing outcome of 2011 anti-corruption movement

As the NGO functionaries recover from the almost ‘panic like situation’ in the Sector, there is an urgent need to examine and understand, did we become tools in the hands of the bureaucracy cum executive combined. Need to understand what has transpired so far

  • On 20th June 2016 Govt notifies S.14 (g) & (h) making it mandatory to file assets & liabilities return by functionaries of NGOs.
  • Understandably the Sector goes in overdrive trying to understand the implications as well as lobbying to have the requirement delayed.
  • Govt brings hastily prepared Lokpal Amendment Bill 2016 in the parliament on 27th July and has it approved in both houses of parliament, within two days of presenting the bill.
  • The Govt does not make any effort to pass the Lokpal Amendment Bill 2014, which has been pending in parliament since Dec’2014 mainly to allow Leader of the largest party in Parliament in lieu of Leader of Opposition for selection of Lokpal, clearly indicating that the Govt has little interest in putting in place the Lokpal Institution.
  • Lokpal Amendment Bill 2016 authorizes Govt to comprehensively prescribe the ‘form and manner of declaration of assets & liabilities by the public servants’
  • Thus in one stroke, the govt has taken the power in its own hands of the entire process which was defined in the Act : what to be declared, how often to be declared and how govt will deal with this information so declared. Earlier Act required the information to be declared within 30 days of appointment, and thereafter every year by a declared govt functionary, PM, ministers and MPs and to make it public.
  • All this without giving any relaxation to the NGO functionaries, who still remain defined as public servant (S.14 (g) & (h)) and have to file the returns after the govt decides the format. All the Govt has done is given extension to 31st December 2016, which in any case is applicable to all public servants.

Thus using the anxieties of the NGO Sector to its own benefit, the bureaucracy has taken in its own hands how and what needs to be declared. Major outcome of 2011 anti-corruption movement seems to be in danger of getting lost in the legal / bureaucratic maze.

———–
Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)
512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place, New Delhi – 110008
e-mail: socio-research@sma.net.in; website: http://www.srr-foundation.org

Posted in Accountability | 5 Comments

Amendments in Trust Deed

Dear Members,

Please let me know the procedure for amending the Trust deed. Whether Income Tax department permission is mandatory? The proposed amendment is only for Trustees re-appointment and sale of building.

Looking forward to your valuable advice.

Best,

Shekar

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 2 Comments

Applicability of Labour Laws in Maharashtra

Dear Members,

This is related to Maharashtra State.

We are registered under Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950 and our Mumbai office has 12 employees and overall we have around 55 employees.

My Questions are:

  1. Do our Trust need to register under Shop and Establishment Act.
  2. Labour Welfare fund
  3. Registration under ESIC (Trust had taken the Mediclaim for each every employees for the Sum of INR 2 Lakhs)
  4. Any registration under Gratuity (We pay gratify to the Staffs as per the gratuity law, no registration had been done)

Thanking you,

With regards,

Ravistan

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | Leave a comment

Deadline for filing of Return under Lokpal extended indefinitely

Deadline for disclosure of assets and liabilities by central government employee and senior management personal of NGOs receiving government aid and foreign donation has been extended indefinitely.

The government brought an amendment to Lok Sabha after receiving number of representation made from NGOs, Civil Society and other stakeholders expressing concern over provisions in the Lokpal Act which could adversely affect the NGO sector. The Amendment pertains to Section 44 of the Lokpal Act which deals with declaration of assets and the provision of making assets public.

As per the article published in The Indian Express, Government is open for the suggestions to keep the spouses of government servants and NGOs out of the ambit of the bill. It will also depend on the recommendations of the Standing Committee.

—–
Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)
512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place, New Delhi – 110008
e-mail: socio-research@sma.net.in; website: http://www.srr-foundation.org

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 10 Comments

Latest developments on Lokpal Implementation

Considering a number of demands from SRRF Dialogue members and even beyond a workshop was organized by SRRF to update the members on 7th July. Through SRRF Dialogue we have been bringing all our members upto date with the latest provisions on Lokpal.

During the workshop participants were apprised of provisions but also explained that there was a need to write to the Govt on non-practicability of the provisions as well as requesting for extension of date of 31st July. SRRF is also submitting to Dept of Personnel & Training (nodal Dept) requesting extension of last date for filing of such returns, considering too little time for understanding the law, preparing returns not one but for three years and for entire family. We also request SRRF Dialogue members to send such requests on following address The Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, North Block, New Delhi 11001 (email: secy_mop@nic.in)

Some of the faculty and several participants also shared their experience that ‘most Govt servants have not filed the returns and seem oblivious to the requirement’. While that cannot be the reason for not filing the return, however it indicated that it is quite likely that the last date for the return filing could be extended. It may also be noted that the Govt has extended the last date 7 times so far. In view of the same, while no one, except the Govt, can guarantee extension, however we all hope that it will be done. In fact several players both within the Sector and even from corporates are making strenuous efforts in this direction, including writ petitions.

__________________________________
Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)
512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place, New Delhi – 110008
e-mail: socio-research@sma.net.in;

Posted in Accountability | 5 Comments

Queries: Lokpal and Lokayukts Act 2013

Dear Sir,

Lokpal and Lokayukts Act, 2013 applicable to NGO from 20th June 2016.  We need your help on following points.  You are requested to give your suggestion so that it helps us to follow this act.

  1. Definition of Public Servant as per Act.  Can all the members of the Board of Trustee became a public servant?.
  2. In our case we think that our Two Directors and CEO are likely to be covered by the Act as they are the making the day to day decisions of the affairs of the Trust.
  3. Act is applicable to those NGO who receive grant/donation from central government directly for more than rupees One Crore OR more than Rs. 10/-lacs from foreign sources.   Our trust is not receiving the funds directly from central government but from different departments of the state governments for more than Rs1/-crore.
  4. Our Trust is receiving foreign fund directly from foreign country and also though its branched in India.
  5. The applicability is,  If  both the  above conditions ( i.e Point -3 & Point-4)  is not fulfil in particular year whether our trust is cover under this act or not?
  6. Office bearers of the trust have to file annual return of assets and liabilities by 31st July every year.  Our point is to whom or to which authority the return is to be filled?  Whether return is to be filled online or off line?
  7. The Trust has to file original declaration or annual return may be filled before the Ministry or Department making the highest contribution as financial assistant  and a copy of the return may be sent to all other Ministry or Departments.   Our point is For FCRA fund there is no issue but if we received fund from Ministry under which format we have to file annual return/declaration.

Under the above act, the NGO/Organisation is also covered for the filing the annual return means over and their office barriers?

Your advice will be of great help to us.

With Regards

HARNATH JAGAWAT-TRUSTEE DIRECTOR.
————
N M SADGURU WATER AND DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION
POST BOX NO. 71, DAHOD – 389 151

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 6 Comments

Applicability of Lokpal on Branch Office /Liaison Office

Micronutrient Initiative (MI) is a non-profit organization registered in Canada with its head office in Ottawa and branch office at New Delhi. Request to clarify if Lokpal Act is applicable for branch office or only for organizations registered with FCRA.

Thanks

Ramya Haricharan

An other query received on the same topic from Mr. Kushal
Dear Members,

I have two questions.

i. Can any one from this group advise if a Branch office or Liaison Office of an INGO will be covered under this new regulation under Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 (LLA, 2013?

ii. Will this regulation apply to Section 8 companies as well?

Thanks & Best Regards,

Kushal

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 7 Comments

Filing of IT Return if Income below minimum

Kindly provide your expert opinion

I could not reach through your web site as the same is not get opened

There is an N G O registered under 12 A

During the last financial year it has earned 2.4 lakhs as interest from its fixed deposits and
Savings Bank account

The F D and S B account is from the corpus donations and other accruals of prior years

There is no income other than the bank interest of 2.4 lakhs

No expenditure is there other than office maintenance – which is 3 thousand

Thus there us an income of 2.4 lakhs from interest and expenses of 3 thousand leaving a surplus of 2.37 lakhs.

The utilization is clearly very low

As income/ surplus is below taxable limit (2.50 lakhs), the N GO can claim T D S made by bank

No intimation of cary forward of unutilized fund is filed with the I T O any complications are there

an advise on the matter will be highly appreciated

Regards

H Iyer

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 2 Comments

FCRA registered organizations can now be verified from FCRA website

This is to bring to notice of all SRRF Dialogue members and particularly the funding agencies which provide funds to other NGOs that the FCRA Dept has now started a facility, whereby such agencies can directly verify the validity of their FCRA registration from the FCRA website itself.

The new facility called Validity Verification of FCRA Certificate provides complete detail of the FCRA registered entity, its name, address, fcra when registered, validity period, if Renewal application filed, the date of such filing, etc. Please see the screen shot below.

snapshot

 

__________________________________
Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)
512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place, New Delhi – 110008
e-mail: socio-research@sma.net.in; website: http://www.srr-foundation.org

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 7 Comments

FCRA Renewal Certificate

Dear Sir,

We had applied for FCRA renewal within the stipulated date and from the fcra online website, came to know that the renewal has been granted and approved.

Is there any process to get the FCRA Renewal certificate to give a copy to donors and banks who are asking for the same.

There has been no notification on when one would obtain the same and hence would appreciate if any information has been shared.

I believe a lot of NGO’s are in the same category.

Regards

Tom

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 15 Comments