The highway to government funding and NGO scrutiny, why is it all wrong?


In recent years, governments have closely monitored national and international funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Changes to the Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act (FCRA) have further limited the scope of these welfare organizations to go the extra mile to reach the most vulnerable and needy sections of society. The ongoing health pandemic further magnified the need for NGOs as they worked side-by-side with the Center and several state governments to provide aid during both waves.

How and why are electoral obligations questionable?

On the other hand, the hypocritical nature of government is plainly visible since anonymous investments via election bonds are well taken by the government. Details of election bonds are only accessible to the bank that issues those bonds and to the parties that collect those bonds. Previously, only profitable business entities could invest in election bonds, which is no longer a clause in place; thus, the assets are very likely to go through shell companies. Experts often argue that if only the relevant bank and the government are aware of the details of the bond money channeled through a chain of shell companies, it will be nearly impossible to decipher the identity of the actual donor. In addition, the Election Commission also expressed similar concerns to the Supreme Court in 2017.

While we keep both scenarios at a scale, concerns of organizations that help people conserve more meat, earlier this year Amnesty International left the country after the government choked on funds. Other groups important to civil liberty, human rights and charities have suffered the same fate. The government changed the FCRA last year, at a time when the country’s nonprofit sector needed more operating freedom and liquidity. Such strict measures limit the reach of aid to those who need it most and prevent a considerable part of the population from engaging in voluntary and social activities.

The need for an impartial approach

In no case does the argument support questionable funding; however, it requires an impartial approach to address issues important to the public welfare. The government’s citation of “adverse comments” or allegations of religious conversions is not a matter of national interest; however, the unknown and unrecorded funding of political parties prior to elections does.

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