Asset declaration deadline for NGOs may be extended

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The government on Thursday told the Rajya Sabha that it may consider extending the last date for disclosure of property by NGOs under the Lokpal if all parties agreed.

The issue was raised by nominated member Anu Aga, who is a businesswoman and a social worker. She said many trustees in non-governmental organisations worked on voluntary basis and that many of them in different NGOs have already resigned.

“This could harm many well meaning NGOs, which could lose vital guidance of these trustees. It will be unfair to paint all NGOs with the same brush,” she said.

Aga urged the government to at least extend the July 31 deadline.

She was joined by other members who echoed her concern.

Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar echoed the member’s concern and said: “The date should be extended.”

In reponse, Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the issue was discussed even when the bill was being framed.

“The date will be extended but all depends on the response of other parties,” said Naidu.

Senior functionaries of NGOs have been put at par with civil servants under the Lokpal law for such bodies that have received foreign funds of over Rs 10 lakh or had an annual income of Rs 1 crore-plus. This will require them to disclose assets by July 31.



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