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SBP seeks details about NGO’s source of funding

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KARACHI: With the aim of regulating non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has asked all commercial banks to furnish all bank accounts and details about the source of funding of NGOs working in Pakistan, in order to monitor their activities.

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On June 24, 2015, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has asked the federal and provincial governments to provide the details of NGOs source of income, funding and the sectors where they are spending it. SBP has taken the step just on the order of Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Salman Aslam Butt. SBP Director and Chief spokesman Abid Qamar said, “The AGP approached us after the Supreme Court told him to produce details about the NGOs operating in Pakistan.” However, no official circular has come from the SBP External Relation Department.

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“In case appropriate and complete information is not shared, the federal interior secretary as well as four chief secretaries will be summoned in person,” the SC warned.

After the matter of Save the Children (NGO), Interior Ministry is revising the policies against NGOs, particularly for international NGOs. SC criticized the government for not holding details about the NGOs. Court went on saying, “We find it quite amazing that although the registration, funding, etc. of NGOs is supposedly covered by four basic statutes. The five governments appear not to have relevant figures and statistics in respect of NGOs, their sources of funding, their principals and office bearers, and other relevant information.”

“It is recognized by the governments that there is a potential for misuse of funding received by NGOs but there is no apparent effort on their part to even gather basic statists which would be necessary for preventing such potential misuse” SC said further.

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