Call for mechanism to rein in NGOs’ activities

Kathmandu, June 12:

A committee formed to control activities of national and international non-government organisations (I/NGOs) has urged the government to build a mechanism to rein in these organisations. The committee submitted its report to the government recently.

The committee was formed by the Social Welfare Council, a body formed to govern activities of over 20,000 I/NGOs in the country. The five-member committee headed by Dr Jayandra Shrestha, member-secretary of the SWC, also studied 12 draft bills prepared by the SWC.

“The SWC’s main responsibility is to forge coordination with INGOs and facilitate them. To do this, the SWC should act as a strong autonomous body,” said Shrestha, stressing the need to amend few provisions in the Social Welfare Act 1992.

The team has recommended short-term and long-term goals that the SWC should chase, including the introduction of Social Development Council.

The 11th three-year interim plan has earmarked Rs 70 million for the SWC. The sole government body entrusted with the task of governing INGOs is not only over-staffed, but also lacks experts to cater to needs of INGOs, the report has said.

The NGOs are expanded to 75 districts. While some are registered with respective District Administration Offices, others are registered with the SWC. The SWC should bring the NGOs under one roof so that it will be easier to monitor and evaluate their performance, the report states.

“The team held meetings with line ministries in this regard. But there is a long way to go to materialise this effort, as it has to be presented before the parliament and a law should be promulgated,” head of the study team Shrestha said.