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NGOs and trusts outside Lokpal
It refers to a news item indicating that a Parliamentary committee examining the Lokpal Bill wants to delete provision of bringing Non Government Organisations (NGOs), charitable organisations and trusts out of the purview of Lokpal Bill.

THE RECENT revelations about Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s family trust have rather endorsed the need of bringing NGOs, at least those being funded by the government, under the ambit of the Lokpal Bill, which is supposed to check and act on corruption and corrupt people. In fact, all those coming under RTI Act should be automatically covered under the Lokpal.

Many foreign-funded NGOs are already found to be involved in corrupt and unfair practices involving even violation of foreign currency norms. Even the Justice PB Sawant committee found renowned social activist Anna Hazare’s trusts guilty of malpractices. For this, Parliamentarian Manish Tiwari even requested the Prime Minister not to include Anna Hazare in the Joint Drafting Committee set up by the central government to draft the Lokpal Bill.

Either the phenomenon of NGOs should be altogether abolished, or there should be an exclusive, effective and simple mechanism on the pattern of RTI Act, and the proposed Lokpal - to keep a vigilant eye on the misdeeds of bodies such as NGOs, trusts, sports bodies and charitable organisations.

After all, huge public money is involved in such bodies - apart from these getting heavy tax-exemptions and other benefits from the government including ever dubious land allotments. Such a separate mechanism should be passed with Lokpal Bill with an inclusive provision of seeking information from such bodies.

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