The central government swung into action and barred 156 NGOs from receiving foreign funds for a period of six months for violating a directive to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks.
Around a year ago, the Ministry of Home affairs had ordered all the organizations including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business entities and individuals who were receiving foreign funds to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks for a higher level of transparency.
However, the latest order argued that in the investigations it was revealed that the associations have not yet opened their bank accounts in central government's Public Financial Management System (PFMS)-integrated banks and have violated the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 by not complying with the December 2017 direction.
The directive read that "Now, therefore, in exercise of the power conferred by section 13 of the FCRA, 2010, pending consideration of cancellation of their certificates, the central government hereby, suspends the registration under FCRA 2010 of the said associations (including their branches and units) for a period of one hundred and eighty days." It is to be noted that if an NGOs FCRA has been suspended by the central government, it cannot accept funding from abroad.
The objective of the centre's order to open a bank account in the banks integrated with the central PFMS was to ensure a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance.
Business Standard reported that the 32 designated banks where individuals, NGOs and other entities can open their accounts included Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ICICI Bank, The Cosmos Co-Operative Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, South Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd, The Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank, IndusInd Bank Limited, City Union Bank and Syndicate Bank.
Allahabad Bank, The Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad UP Gramin Bank, DCB Bank Ltd, Manipur State Co-op Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd, Yes Bank, Oriental Bank Of Commerce, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank and Axis Bank are the others.