The social justice ministry is set to cancel the grants of 266 NGOs working in different fields after an extensive audit found them to be indulging in irregularities or being empty shell bodies created to make gains through government funds.
The audit, the first of its kind, was carried out across the country for NGOs engaged by the ministry in old-age welfare, running of schools and hostels for SCs, and drug de-addiction.
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The ministry provides grant-in-aid at around Rs 25 lakh per institution to 1,276 NGOs to execute welfare initiatives. The ministry has a Rs 500cr budget for NGOs.
A Times of India report quoted sources as saying the ministry organised a comprehensive field audit to check the status of the voluntary organisations. It earlier functioned on the basis of a certificate issued by district social welfare officials.
For the audit, 20 students were drawn from top institutes like IITs, TISS, DU and other central universities.
The results found the 266 NGOs of being either woefully inadequate in terms of infrastructure or violating guidelines of the schemes or being downright fraudulent.
Social justice and empowerment secretary R Subrahmanyam told TOI: “Now we have accomplished the audit and crucial motion is being taken.”
The NGOs have been issued a show-cause notice to clarify on the findings and their grants being cancelled. Those that were found to be indulging in grave irregularities were also blacklisted.
The ministry is also setting up a corrective mechanism to ensure transparency going forward.
Of the 1,233 NGOs inspected, 164 are related to “colleges/hostels for SCs” of which 44 were found to be non-functional.
Of the 523 NGOs working in the running of senior citizen houses, 120 were detected as non-functional.
Of the 589 NGOs related to de-addiction, 102 were non-functional.