The International Relations and Labour Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today directed the government to take necessary steps to tighten the noose around the international non-governmental organisations functioning in the country.
After a meeting with the officials of Social Welfare Council, committee Chairman Prabhu Sah said the lawmakers’ panel came to the conclusion that INGOs which channelise billions of rupees annually in the name of social service projects were operating as a monopoly due to lack of monitoring and supervision from the regulatory authorities.
“There is absence of transparency and accountability in their functioning,” he said.
It has been found that INGOs were not operating under a one-door system as per the existing Social Welfare Act. “The government, through the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, should make necessary arrangements to bring the functioning of all INGOs under a single-door module.”
Directing the ministry and SWC for regular monitoring, supervision and evaluation of the activities of INGOs across the country, the panel also recommended a concrete work plan to check their monetary transactions for financial accountability.
The committee stated that there was a need to set specific requirements and conditions to make INGOs work for the well-being of the nation. Authorities concerned must act promptly to ensure INGOs gave priorities to the policies and programmes of the government while launching their projects, it added.
Responding to the lawmakers’ concerns about lax regulations, SWC’s Vice-chairman Pramod Mehta and its directors Madan Prasad Rimal and Chandra Mani Adhikari said the regulatory body failed to monitor activities of INGOs due to lack of resources and necessary legislations.
“The regulatory body seeks an immediate amendment to different Acts and regulations, as well as cooperation from all stakeholders to build its capacity,” SWC Director Rimal told this daily.
According to him, 189 INGOs affiliated to Social Welfare Council are operating in the country. N
either the government nor the SWC knows how I/NGOs are working here as a result of which billions of rupees go unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, Children, Senior Citizens and Social Welfare Committee has decided to summon Social Welfare Council officials and senior representatives from I/NGOs and donor agencies on Friday to dwell on transparency and accountability of their activities in the country.