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Monday, December 1, 2014, Agrahayan 17, 1421, Safar 7, 1436 Hijr

NGOs come under more close scrutiny
Observer Online Report
Published : Monday, 1 December, 2014,  Time : 4:33 PM,  View Count : 87
The cabinet on Monday approved the 'Foreign Contributions (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act, 2014' for strict regulation of the NGO activities.

The law clearly mentions that no NGO can function before registration with the NGO Bureau. In the application for registration, an organisation must clearly mention the source of the fund and areas of spending.

The registration will be given for ten years, but the government can cancel the registration anytime in case of any violation of the law.

Besides, without approval of the NGO Bureau, no NGO can take or implement any programme or project. An NGO can appoint foreign consultant taking security clearance from the home ministry, the law says.

The law also mentions that the NGOs must maintain its accurate accounts and all foreign contributions should be deposited in a single account in a bank. Later, it could be transferred to the account of the project of programme.

Statement of the accounts of the NGOs must be submitted to the NGO Bureau, which will have power for inspection, monitoring and evaluating the activities of the NGOs. Annual statement should be submitted by every NGO to the Director General of the NGO Bureau, the law says.

Any violation of the law would be considered as offence and punishment will be applicable depending on the nature of the offence.

Warning, cancellation of the registration and penalty would be punishment for any administrative irregularities. But, any offence of criminal nature like terror financing, women or child trafficking, drug smuggling will be dealt under the existing criminal law of the country.

The approval was given in the weekly meeting of the cabinet held at the Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Cabinet Secretary M Mosharraf Hossain while briefing reporters after the meeting said the cabinet has given final approval to the draft of the Act for regulation of the activities of the NGOs receiving foreign contributions.

The Foreign Contributions (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act, 2014' will be a comprehensive and wide ranging legal instrument for giving support and regulation of the NGO activities.

The draft also accommodated the opinions and recommendations of the concerned ministries and departments, stakeholders of the NGOs and civil society members, the cabinet secretary said.

Mosharraf Hossain said the new law stipulated the registration and renewal of the NGOs. It will ensure more transparency in receiving foreign contributions by NGOs as well as their activities.

Besides, the 'Supreme Court Judges (Leave Pension and Privileges) Ordinance (Amendment), Act 2014' which has proposed for increasing gratuity of the Supreme Court and High Court judges in case of compulsory surrender of their pension.

The draft law has proposed that every retired judge of 40 to 45 years will get Tk 260 for surrender of each taka of their pension while the rate will be Tk 245 for the judges of 45 to 50 years and Tk 230 for the judges of 50 years and above.

The new rate will come into effect from December 1, 2013.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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