We organised a workshop on Legal Aspects of NGOs with special reference to Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) on 25th and 26th (half day) of November 2016 at conference hall of Hotel Tibet, Dharamsala. 46 participants representing 27 organisations/institutions in Dharamsala attended the workshop. There were one participant each from Sangye Menlha Charitable Trust Chandigarh and International Maitreya Foundation Delhi. Mr. Tsering Dhondup, Former Kalon (minister) of Department of Finance, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) was the chief Resource Person and he was assisted by Mr. Tenzin Gadhen, Deputy Secretary, Department of Finance, CTA Dharamsala.
The workshop covered topics such as Societies Registration Act 1860, Himachal Pradesh Societies Registration Act 2006, Income Tax Act 1961, Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010, Money Laundering Act 2002 and Lokpal & Lokayukta Act 2013. These acts are very much binding on the Not for Profit Organisations such as the ones we have in Dharamsala and the knowledge of which is a must to avoid any legal complications.
The facilitators explained in great details the procedures relating to the manner in which an NGO can apply for registration of a Society/Trust or the manner in which one can register one’s Society or Trust for Income Tax exemption and for registration under FCRA. They also explained how one needs to comply with various Acts once registration is granted so that one does not lose the acquired registration under various Acts. They warned that major non-compliance of these acts may not only lead to de-registration of one’s Society/Trust but may also invite legal proceedings against the Society in general and office bearers in particulars.
It was very encouraging to see the participants taking keen interest during the course of workshop. Many asked different questions relating to the difficulties faced by them during their day to day works.
We received very good feedback from the participants and they requested us to organise more such workshops in the future.
The Director while thanking the facilitators and the participants requested the participants to remember the things that they have learnt during the workshop. He requested them to not only implement whatever they have learnt here during the course of their work but also share their knowledge with their colleagues. The Director promised to organise more such workshops in the future provided we receive support and proper facilitators.
We wish to thank SOIR-IM for kindly funding the workshop. This workshop has been of tremendous help to the participants keeping the frequent changes taking place in the Acts.
We thank the two facilitators for taking out their precious time in spite of their highly busy schedule.