NGOs not furnishing annual income and expenditure statement for two consecutive years will face a penalty totalling ten per cent of foreign contributions received by them or Rs 10 lakh, whichever is less, the Home Ministry has said in a gazette notification.
A penalty equivalent to five per cent of total foreign funds received in a year or Rs. 5 lakh will be imposed for non-furnishing of annual return after one year up to two years after December 31 every year.
According to an official estimate, less than 10 per cent of nearly 30 lakh registered NGOs across the country file their annual income and expenditure statements or annual returns.
Registration under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of around 15,000 NGOs were cancelled by the government in last two years for not furnishing annual returns.
A penalty of four per cent of the total foreign contribution received during the financial year or Rs. 2 lakh will be imposed for failure to furnish returns after six months up to one year after December 31 every year.
Penalty of three per cent of the amount of foreign contribution received during the financial year or Rs 50,000 will be levied for not filing the annual returns after three months up to six months after December 31 every year, the notification said.
Two per cent penalty on total foreign funds received during the financial year or Rs. 10,000 will be imposed for not furnishing returns for three months after December 31 every year.
"There have been many erring NGOs which often flout the rules. The guidelines are for them. No genuine NGO will be harassed," a Home Ministry official said.