New Delhi: A government agency that oversees rural development plans to blacklist 150 non-governmental organizations across India, effectively doubling the number of NGOs barred from receiving funds, and highlighting the corruption and inefficiency that plagues some government-backed social programmes.
The Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Development (CAPART) says most of the agencies did not submit required reports, performed unsatisfactory work and created assets “not being used by the beneficiaries”, according to an internal report.
CAPART is a registered society under the department of rural development. Of the 150 NGOs, at least 100 are based in Andhra Pradesh, which has witnessed mass-scale suicide by debt-ridden farmers in recent months.
Most of the projects that will be blacklisted are in the field of vermiculture, rural sanitation and water supply.
In many cases, CAPART could not locate the addresses offered by the NGOs—such as the Rural Education & Awareness in Andhra Pradesh. Another NGO, Mercy Minority Educational Society, was barred after submitting the “exact copy of another proposal” already received from the Manipur-based Rural Development Organization.
“Many of the NGOs could not be traced and have not responded to our notice for submission to our reports,” said a government official on the condition of anonymity.
Several more NGOs are under scrutiny as part of a large clean-up operation launched by CAPART.
Already, the agency had banned 149 NGOs between April 2006 and January this year. At least 50 were based in Patna, Bihar, and they stopped receiving government funds after an investigation unveiled fake bank passbooks.
While a total of Rs60 lakh had already been disbursed to 40 of the fraudulent agencies in Patna, the remaining 10 face a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry, the source said.
The government agency has assisted 12,000 NGOs since its inception in 1986. Until last year, just 500 NGOs had been charged with embezzlement .
These NGOs had been tasked and funded by the government to implement programmes and deliver services across India.