Unrestricted flow of dev funds demanded | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 02, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 02, 2012

Act to Regulate NGOs

Unrestricted flow of dev funds demanded

The proposed foreign donation regulatory law must incorporate simple provisions, not restrict non-government development funds, and be immediately made public for scrutiny, demanded international NGO activists at a press conference yesterday.
Forum-Asia, a Bangkok-based organisation for human rights and development; CIVICUS, a global alliance of civic movement; and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiatives (CHRI) jointly organised the press conference in the capital's Jatiya Press Club.
The Bangladesh government consulted civil society leaders and 65 non-government organisations (NGO) on the proposed law and assured incorporation of the recommendations.
“Still, we remain extremely worried whether the recommendations will accordingly be incorporated when the bill is placed in parliament, as it ultimately depends on the government's desire,” said Sayeed Ahmad, Forum-Asia's country programme manager.
The proposed law's excessive focus on scrutiny and control of NGOs may foil the civil society's independence, said CIVICUS Advocacy Manager Mandeep S Tiwana.
Other concerns are cumbersome approval process involving multiple clearances for foreign-funded projects, absence of an approval timeframe, lack of specific grounds for rejection, requirement for five-yearly registration renewal and power to take control of NGO assets, said Sayeed.

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