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266 NGOs fail audit, government cracks down on subsidies | India News


NEW DELHI: In a major offensive, the Social Justice Ministry will cancel grants from 266 NGOs working in different fields after a thorough audit found them committing wrongdoing or being empty bodies created for profit through government funds.
The first audit of its kind was carried out nationwide for NGOs that have been contracted by the ministry on the welfare of old age, the operation of schools and shelters for SC and the elimination of drug addiction. The ministry makes grants to 1,276 NGOs at around Rs 25 lakh per institution to implement wellness initiatives. It has a budget of around 500 million rupees for NGOs. Sources said that while the ministry had been operating on the basis of certification provided by the district’s social welfare officials, this year it organized a comprehensive field audit to verify the status of voluntary organizations.
Twenty students from top institutes such as IIT, TISS, DU and other central universities were selected to carry out the audit.
Sources said the results were revealing as 266 NGOs were found to be woefully inadequate in terms of infrastructure or in violation of scheme guidelines, or downright fraudulent.
The secretary of social justice and empowerment, R Subrahmanyam, told TOI: “We have carried out the audit and the necessary measures are being taken.”
The sources said the 266 NGOs received a good cause notice to clarify the audit findings and that their grants are being canceled. Institutions that are found to be in serious wrongdoing are even being blacklisted, which means that they will not be eligible for government contracts in the future.
Of the total of 1,233 NGOs inspected, 164 are associated with “CS schools / shelters”, of which 44 were non-functional. Of the 523 NGOs working in the management of homes for the elderly, 120 were detected as non-functional, which represents approximately 23%. It was found that about 18% or 102 NGOs out of 589 associated with the addiction elimination centers were not functioning.
In addition to the cancellation of grants and the blacklisting, the ministry is implementing corrections to ensure transparency. It has decided to implement a “CCTV system” in all the NGOs involved, under which the interested parties, as well as the ministry, will monitor the institutions through CCTV cameras. The system will be operational from next year. A “social audit” is being instituted to allow stakeholders to evaluate institutions and provide feedback to the government.

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