Bangladesh to cancel registration of over 20,000 NGOs
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 00:12
  
Dhaka: Bangladesh government will cancel registration of over 20,000 non-government organisations that remain inactive for several years.

"We shall cancel the registration of those organisations immediately as we are committed to citizen's welfare and we can't allow any organisation to make people suffer in the name of volunteering," Social Welfare Minister Enamul Haque Mostafa Shahid told the 'Daily Star'.

Social welfare officers at union, upazila and district levels visited the offices of those NGOs and found them inactive for several years, said Secretary of social welfare ministry Quomaran Nessa Khanam.

Joint Secretary Nasima Begum said, "The government will cancel the registration of the non-functioning NGOs which got registered to conduct social welfare activities voluntarily for empowerment of women, rural development and poverty reduction."

The government can cancel the registration of non-performing NGOs as per article 10 of Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance, 1961, she said.

"After identifying inactive NGOs registered under the Department of Social Welfare, we shall give them time to defend themselves and finally cancel the registration of the 'signboard NGOs'," said Secretary Quomaran Nessa.

"We shall cancel the registration of the NGOs that are running micro-credit scheme illegally despite submission of written commitment of not doing so," the secretary said.

She said the decision was made after receiving allegations of irregularities against several NGOs.

According to the ordinance, all volunteer organisations and NGOs, registered under the Department of Social Welfare, need to submit their annual reports and financial records to the department.

But many NGOs did not submit reports in the last 10 to 20 years, said a source at the department.

The social welfare secretary said, "Individuals or chiefs of NGOs have to be recommended by district commissioner now to get registered under the department."

High-ups at the social welfare ministry said problems arise over registration as seven other authorities apart from the Department of Social Welfare can register NGOs.

There are about 2,479 local and foreign NGOs under the NGO Affairs Bureau, 55,000 under the Department of Social Welfare, 1.52 lakh under the Department of Cooperatives, 10,000 under the Office of the Registrar, Joint Stock Companies and Firms, 501 under Micro-Credit Regulatory Authority, 16,030 under the Department of Women and Children Affairs and one lakh under the Department of Youth Development.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 00:12


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