KARACHI: Out of the around 6,000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) registered in Sindh, as many as 4,500 have been revealed to be dummies. The provincial government has decided to cancel the registration of all such NGOs after issuing them a final notice.
Two years ago, the government had directed the NGOs working in the province to have their registrations renewed and perform an audit of their finances. However, around 4,500 NGOs did not approach the authorities for the renewal of their registration nor did they submit any audit report, prompting the social welfare department to send letters to their registered addresses. However, the letters were not received and were returned to the department.
Talking to Express News, Adviser to the Chief Minister on Social Welfare Shamim Mumtaz revealed that the government could not find any trace of those NGOs. They have not kept any contact with the social welfare department after they were registered, which arouses suspicion, she said.
No one received notices that were sent to their addresses, which suggests that the registered addresses of these NGOs are fake, Mumtaz said, adding that the government has now decided to revoke the registration of such NGOs. Next week, these NGOs will be notified through newspapers for the last time to fulfil their obligations, and if they do not respond, their registration will be cancelled, the adviser to CM maintained.
Mumtaz also criticised NGOs for working beyond their scope in the province. There are many international NGOs which work in collaboration with the local ones, she said. These NGOs also conduct different surveys. However, they are not authorised to do so, she said.
The adviser to CM also pointed out NGOs which perform a lot of services on paper. However, in reality they accomplish nothing. An NGO in Tharparkar claims that it has been working for 25 years to plant trees in Mithi, Tharparkar, Mumtaz said, adding that she did not find any 25-year-old tree in Mithi during her visit.
After the disclosure of the presence of a large number of bogus NGOs in the province, the government has formed a new policy for the registration of new NGOs.
Mumtaz revealed that according to the new policy, an NGO, at the time of its registration, will also be notified of the date of the registration’s expiry. After the expiry date, the NGO will have to renew the registration, otherwise it will cease to exist.
The adviser to the CM also commented on the policy of grants to the NGOs. The government only gives grants to NGOs for their projects which it considers worthy of support, she said.
The authority to approve grants to NGOs for any project is not vested in an individual, Mumtaz maintained, adding that the council of the social welfare department decides whether funds should be granted for a particular project or not. The amount of grant is in between Rs10,000 and Rs50,000, she said.