New Act in offing to make NGOs transparent and accountable



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Kathmandu, Sept 21 (RSS): The government has started home work on introducing a new legislation for making the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) well-managed and transparent in their works. 
The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare has prepared the draft of the legislation by incorporating the suggestions and recommendations from the stakeholders concerned including the NGOS and INGOs, Ministry's spokesman Toyam Raya said. He said the draft legislation has now been sent to the Ministry of Finance for its approval. 

"The suggestion of related Ministries has already been received before this. The Act would be finalized after suggestions from the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Finance are received and get it approved from the Council of Ministers before sending it to the Legislature-Parliament for discussion on it," Raya said. Explaining the need of a new Act, spokesman Raya said the Social Welfare Act, 2049 is now outdated and the new legislation was needed which would replace it. 

According to him, the draft legislation has made provisions requiring the NGOs and INGOs to keep their source of funding and transactions transparent and to carry out works that are of direct benefit to the community they want to work in. Similarly, it has provision of imposing a fine on and terminating any organization committing a mistake or violating the laws of the land or any other offence. 
Presently, around 46,200 NGOs are registered with the Social Welfare Council. Out of them, only 10,000 are operating. 

Council's member-secretary Dilli Bhatta said only 10,000 NGOs out of the 46,200 have been submitting their annual reports to the Council. Many NGOs are violating a Council provision that binds registered NGOs to submit their annual report of income, expenditure, and audit in time.  Only around 250 registered NGOs are submitting their report of income, expenditure and audit in time, a Council official said. The District Administration Office does not have exact data on how many NGOs are operating across the country. 

The Council was set up 40 years ago with the objective of providing service to the people of various classes, communities, castes, ethnicities, gender and geographical regions which are socially, economically and culturally marginalized; making them capable from the economic and social point of views and tying up the different activities related to social service with the development programmes set by the state. 
Meanwhile, the Council will observe the 38th Social Service Day on coming Tuesday with various programmes being held. President Bidya Devi Bhandari is scheduled to attend the event to be organised to mark the day.  Sunil Darnal/RSS