Act against I/NGOs involved in political activities: Home ministry

The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought immediate action against national and international non-governmental organisations involved in political activities across the country.

In its latest directive issued to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare following a security meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam, the ministry has sought action against I/NGOs flouting norms of social service.

The ministry has received information from district administration channels that clearly indicates direct involvement of I/NGOs in political activities, the circular seen by this correspondent states.

“MoWCSW has been asked to take stern action against I/NGOs that are engaged in activities that influence politics and to keep a tab on activities of such organisations,” Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, Joint Secretary at MoHA told THT. Refusing to share details of the I/NGOs, the chief of MoHA’s Peace and Security Division also claimed that such organisations were not only creating hurdles in development but were also destabilising social and communal harmony.

“The Social Welfare Council has already been asked to prepare a list of I/NGOs involved in political activities,” Under Secretary Laxmi Narayan Upreti at MoWCSW said. According to him, not only I/NGOs, it’s high time that the government also closely monitored the utilisation of bilateral and multi-lateral funds on development programmes. “I/NGOs should be transparent in their finances and operations,” he said.

SWC Member Secretary Rabindra Kumar confirmed that the council received MoWCSW’s letter that sought action against I/NGOs. “SWC has initiated necessary probe,” he said.

According to a ministry source, most of the I/NGOs have strong political leanings, while others have strong ties with bilateral and multi-lateral development partners. “Lack of necessary rules and regulations, as well as SWC’s failure to monitor them, are to be blamed for I/NGOs’ monopoly,” it added.

Earlier, MoWCSW refused to accept Demo Finland’s general proposal to work with the joint youth and student platform, while SWC stood against a project document presented by Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy, as both aimed to influence country’s political leadership by spending millions of dollars.

While mushrooming I/INGOs with strong political leanings have been accused of shrinking the humanitarian space as they failed to work productively in human sector development projects, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority has also been studying the documents of more than 700 organisations, including 190 INGOs, seized from the SWC.

There are 190 INGOs in the country that have received SWC approval for periodic projects, while only 25 per cent of SWC-affiliated 40,000 NGOs are functional. INGOs from at least 25 countries channelise nearly Rs 10 billion annually for multi-year projects run by NGOs.

Source: THT