Plan to Regulate Funds for NGOsTracking the High Life of NGO Chiefs
By Mubarak Zeb Khan

NGO Regulation (Credit: rediff.com)

NGO Regulation (Credit: rediff.com)

ISLAMABAD, Aug 7: The government is considering a plan to strengthen, monitor and coordinate inflows of foreign aids to international non-government organisations (NGOs) to carry out development work in the country.

The new expected rules might reduce the freedom of action of NGOs for spending on priority sectors of the country.

Massive inflows of foreign aid to NGOs had been witnessed during the last many years, which mostly remained unaccounted for and out of government ambit.

To regulate the mushroom growth NGOs, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet had constituted a high level committee at its meeting held last week to review regulatory framework for NGOs working in Pakistan for facilitation of the humanitarian and development work.

On Tuesday, the committee held its first meeting on the issue which was chaired by Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid. The meeting was briefed about the current policy and legal framework and the proposals to bring improvements in this framework.

The committee decided that in line with the present government’s policy of good governance and transparency, it would undertake a transparent consultative process with all stakeholders in public and private sectors before finalising its recommendations for consideration of the government.

The chairman of the committee Mr. Zahid noted that the objective of these improvements was to ensure that maximum transparency was achieved in the work of these international organisations and their work was in line with the reform initiatives of the government and humanitarian and development requirements of the country.

The minister further observed that the regulatory framework must facilitate the flow of resources to the appropriate sectors and must act as a help to these organisations who provide relief and development assistance to Pakistan.

A well-placed source told Dawn that focus of the regulation would be to bind these NGOs to carry out development work in national priorities areas. Currently, the NGOs implement their own agenda for their so called development works.

In 2010, India also carried out extensive reforms to regulate inflows of foreign assistance to NGOs and made them bound to spend on government identified priorities areas.

The proposed reforms of the law are expected to increase government control on the economy that revolves around NGOs. Many legislators had requested the previous government to carry out audit of the spending of these NGOs, but no attention was paid to their demand.

Experts suggested that government should do away with the permanent registration of these NGOs and make it time bound. Similarly, organisation of political nature should not receive foreign funds.

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