4,038 NPOs registered by the Punjab Charity Commission

LAHORE: At least 4,038 non-profit organizations (NPOs) have been registered by the Punjab Charity Commission under the Punjab Charity Act 2018, The News has learned.

According to Home Ministry sources, 6,400 NGOs had applied for registration with the Punjab Charity Commission under the Punjab Charity Act 2018. As many as 5,880 NGOs had submitted complete documents. After going through all the documents, 4,038 NGOs have received a certificate while the process of 2,367 NGOs is ongoing. Upon completion of the process, certificates will also be issued to them.

A senior Home Office official said only four NGOs were rejected and certificates were not issued because their administrators were involved in enhanced Fourth Schedule criminal activity. The commission heard them and gave them the option of changing trustees. But these NGOs could not change their administrators, which is why they were not registered with the commission. The relevant Deputy Commissioners have been written to close the offices of these NGOs.

Previously, the government of Punjab made it mandatory for all NPOs to register with the Punjab Charity Commission and this decision was made to meet the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Another official said that the FATF Punjab Cell is active in the province. There were fears that NPOs could be exploited by terrorists. Now the Punjab government monitors all NPOs working in the province. It should be noted that the Punjab government has enacted the Charity Commission Act to eradicate money laundering and terrorist financing and control NGOs.

The aim of the Punjab Charity Commission (PCC) is to maintain public confidence in charities. The CCP is a registration and regulatory authority responsible for registering charities and regulating the raising of charitable funds. Prior to funding, donors can visit the PCC website. There were clear instructions that donors can donate funds to registered NPOs. No organization will be allowed to collect charity without registration. If breached, action would also be taken against charities and donors. For the facilitation of people, the call number, whatsapp and email have been posted on the website.

The Interior Ministry respects freedom of association and freedom of expression of NGOs guaranteed by the constitution, the official said while answering a question. He said the Ministry of Interior cannot change the administrators of any NGO.

He clarified that the Ministry of the Interior accepts the audit of NGOs carried out by their auditors. According to him, the Commission has an effective monitoring and accountability mechanism for charities, promoters, collectors and beneficiaries. The commission is there to facilitate and promote regularized non-profit organizations.

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