Chennai, Sep 29 (IANS) Proper utilisation of funds for the tsunami-ravaged Tamil Nadu could have changed the fate of the state, union minister of state for home S. Reghupathy said here Friday.
He said there were nearly 3,000 non-government organisations (NGOs) working in the state that received Rs.12 billion from foreign donors in 2004-2005.
Reghupathy was speaking at a daylong seminar on Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), jointly organised by the home ministry and Standard Chartered Bank. It was attended by 300 participants from NGOs, banks and financial institutions as well as union and state government agencies.
His colleague in the ministry Sriprakash Jaiswal launched an online FCRA facility, which will ensure that foreign funds flow only to such organisations 'whose antecedents and activities were not inimical to national interest'.
Ragupathy also released a booklet 'Insights-Thoughts on the Development Sector'.
Jaiswal expressed concern that voluntary organisations were not filing annual returns on foreign contributions, as was required under the FCR Act, 1976.
He pointed out that of the 32,000 FCRA-registered associations in India, only 18,540 reported receipt of foreign contribution, which amounted to Rs.6.2 billion.
Government records showed that at least 8,673 NGOs did not comply with their obligation to submit annual returns in the financial year 2004-2005.
Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala released a 'Handbook on FCRA'.