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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