Mon, 26 Feb 2024 Today's Paper

NGOs spend billions unchecked, new law soon to monitor them

10 February 2024 07:26 am - 23     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

Colombo, Feb 10 (Daily Mirror) -  In the wake of reports that as much as over half of funds received by various NGOs are spent without any monitoring, the government is in the final stage of evolving a new law that provides for compulsory registration of all such organizations with the National NGO Secretariat, an official said.

The final draft of the new law titled ‘Non-governmental Organizations (Registration and Supervision) Bill is now ready. It has now been circulated among the NGOs and individual activists for their views before being presented to the Cabinet for approval. They have been given a period of three weeks for submission of their views, if any, to be incorporated in the bill before enactment.

Director General of the Secretariat for Sanjeewa Wimalagunarathna told Daily Mirror yesterday that the bill, once enacted, would provide for compulsory registration of the NGOs for operation. Currently, there are numerous organizations operating without any supervision as they have not been registered with the Secretariat.

“Last year, the NGOs registered with the Secretariat received as much as Rs.33 billion in foreign funding for their projects in the country. However, there are many unregistered NGOs operating in the country. Altogether, we believe as much as Rs.100 billion is received in funding annually. It means a large amount of NGO funds is spent without any monitoring by the government,” he said.

Responding to a question about the NGOs raising concerns and asking for another three months to submit their proposals, he said these organizations had been given ample time to do so, and he was not in a position to extend the current three-week period granted them again.

“They submitted their proposals for the last time on January 31, 2023. Now we have drafted the bill incorporating them. In the past, there were two draft bills –one worked out in 2017 and the other in 2020. We have taken into account the content of these two past bills and worked out the latest versions while accommodating the views of the NGOs. Therefore, we cannot grant any further time,” he said.

He stressed the need to enact such a law to contain money laundering and terrorist financing in the guise of NGO activities.

“It is a requirement stipulated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to have laws to deal with money laundering and terrorist financing. Therefore, we have to enact this bill. It will be done in two months’ time,” he said.

At the moment, there are 1,786 registered NGOs operating at national level, 1,636 at district levels and 38,524 at divisional levels.


Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

  Comments - 23

Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka
  • Jude Saturday, 10 February 2024 07:22 AM

    Few years back Batti Sharia University got Five Billion Rupees funding with no Trace of how the funds were chanelled to Sri Lanka, it was totally unauthorized and unaccounted for, then government didn't do anything and one politician challenged the government that this university untouchable unlike SAITM Malabe. Huh!!

    Gabriella Saturday, 10 February 2024 07:47 AM

    These philanthropic organisations do not have shareholders. Therefore, no accounting is necessary. But annual reports are available for scrutiny. The donors are in fact the “shareholders” and, are free to withhold funds if administration is unsatisfactory. If the funds are being used for subversive activities, the means to deal with them are already in existence. It does not require more laws or government interference. The NGO’s activities are a source of shame and embarrassment to the government. Highlighting years of neglect, doesn’t need “monitoring”.

    Mahila Sunday, 11 February 2024 06:49 AM

    Gabriella, Fully endorse as elaborated!!?? Just look for examples in Health, Education, Vocational, Community!!?? What’s the Government contribution provided comparatively WHAT “Voluntary, Charitable and NGO's provide”!!! Essentials neglected by “ELECTED”!? Vital equipment donated, USD Millions with Polio Vaccines for decades, eradicate Polio effectively and done effectively by Rotary International (RI), (2004)!!?? Personally involved! Polio, again took hold because Government didn't SUSTAIN efforts in Immunisations thereafter – Reason – Lack of Funds!!!??? Waiting for "FREEBEES"!!?? WHO will continue donating funds, enjoyment of "Pinpadi Charity seekers"!!?? What’s overawing need – PARLIAMENTARIANS Enjoying “SUBSIDISED 5 STAR MEALS”, when ‘NO MONEY ALLOCATION’ for IMMUNISATIONS, X-Ray, Body Scan, Hospital Beds!!? AS IMMEDIATE SOLUTION, commend Parliament, SUBSIDISING “PAAN

    Mahila Saturday, 10 February 2024 08:23 AM

    The Government has been found to be corrupt with Foreign Funded Loans and Robbed, Looted or request corrupt payments of funds!!?? They get "wind of the availability of funds" and we don't want to speculate the Outcome?? Imagination runs riot!!?? Hopefully, Holy and Credible Practice would prevail!!! This country, even the FENCE supposed to Guard and Protect the CROP it is Illicitly Grazed”?? Whom to TRUST!!????? Only, Lord Almighty!!??

    navratne willamune Saturday, 10 February 2024 08:40 AM

    Needs closer supervision of money spent by NGOs. some are very good organisations helpin the country where the Govt dont have the capacity to spend money.but there are foreign agencies make use of NGO cover to spread decent and chaos in the country.some are very subtle in thei manner how they operate.local politicians and administrators are slow to act

    meera Saturday, 10 February 2024 08:54 AM

    and who will check the spending of these politicians who spend more than they earn. Politicians spend the tax payers money. NGO's spend their own money, not our tax money

    Most Politicians Wasting Taxpayer’s Funds Saturday, 10 February 2024 06:46 PM

    Absolutely. Calling a kettle black these politicians. Ask them to check on their own expenses before criticising on others

    GO AFTER YOUR OWN CORRUPT PAST AND PRESENT POLITICIANS AND PUBLIC SERVICE OFFICIALS. Saturday, 10 February 2024 09:20 PM

    MEERA, good question. I say monitoring is one thing in any Company and or Organization. When a COUNTRY lets external and or INTERNAL NGOS and or NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS into the country they are usually REGISTERED as TAX CONCESSIONS ARE USUALLY ONLY GIVEN TO THOSE WHO ARE REGISTEDED. AS FOR THE SMALL TIME OPERATORS HARDLY ANY BIG COMPANIES, INDIVIDUALS AND OR FAMILY TRUSTS DONATE TO COMPANIES UNREGISTERED AS THEY DO NOT BENEFIT. TIME THE GOVERNMENT CLEANED UP THEIR OWN SYSTEMS AND THOSE WHO BROUGHT THE COUNTRY DOWN FIRST.

    Sandy Saturday, 10 February 2024 02:44 PM

    Drug smugglers can launder money through ngo. Money can be routed as contributions to any ngo.

    Nihal Saturday, 10 February 2024 03:05 PM

    All government ministers are highly corrupted and how come someone believes their intend is correct or not . First the Government needs to properly implement the corruption law and back date it up to 2009 and investigate those who unlawfully accumulated wealth including the Raja

    melville perera Saturday, 10 February 2024 03:07 PM

    long overdue where even past and present politicians work hand in glove and living a luxurious life style - the latest highest floor fully equipped AC apartment free of rent, the latest SUV powered with a V8 engine, the latest Whats app, 5-star hotel entertainment, free 1st class airflights to meet contacts, holidays abroad, and many more under cover of CHARITY SERVICE to help the poor and their only possession a laptop table and chair and money laundering

    Rajan Saturday, 10 February 2024 03:13 PM

    C'mon, please check this way. NGOs are requested to register with the National Secretariat for NGOs, it is a compulsory requirement. Also, NGOs send their action plan in advance, it contain their funding sources and the amount. They send this report to the NGO Secretariat through their Divisional and District Secretariats. And, through the same channel, the NGOs send quarterly reports (status of physical

    European Saturday, 10 February 2024 03:36 PM

    Criminal third worlders taking further actions to curtail civil liberties yet again. But the majority of the backwards locals will support this.

    Govnt Expenses too need Scrutiny Saturday, 10 February 2024 04:24 PM

    How about government’s expenditures? Any proper documentation on it expenses. Example will be use of SriLankan flights by officials during MR’s government!

    Mk Saturday, 10 February 2024 04:42 PM

    Good move. These NGO are just a money making business and swindles donations to feed themselves.

    GO MONITOR YOUR OWN CORRUPT GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICE FIRST THEN WORRY ABOUT THE NGOS AND THE LIKES Saturday, 10 February 2024 09:08 PM

    GABRIELLA are correct to some extent, but NGOs are similar to "not for profit orgs as known around the world. I guess the NGOs you are referring to are private individuals, but there are also Family Trusts and the likes, all these operate tax tree. Most service different causes that are registered under the NGOs and Not for Profit Organizations spreading their help around which is good. It is known the Management Teams in these have high fees etc. (especially the ones that operate around the world) and they do have accountability to PARENT COMPANY AND OR ORGANIZATIONS THEY REPRESENTATE. HIGH TIME A SIMILAR BILL IS PASSED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN RESPECT OF SIMILAR COMPANIES IN THE COUNTRY AND MONITOR THOSE.

    M Fernando Saturday, 10 February 2024 09:24 PM

    Definitely need closer monitoring of funds to ensure the 225 get their fair share. Ministers are needy and deserving also. This bill will ensure that ministerial pockets will continue to be lined properly.

    Mahila Sunday, 11 February 2024 06:52 AM

    ... and OPTIMUM STANDARDS NOMINATED BY THEM!!!

    Tissa Fernando Saturday, 10 February 2024 09:40 PM

    As long as NGOs are not trying to do anything political and against the general culture, they may be allowed but there should be a proper monitoring mechanism to ensure that the funds received are spent for the intended purpose. There may be a lot of corruption by the local staff of these NGOs too.

    Geraldine Sunday, 11 February 2024 09:03 PM

    NGOs are paying celebrities like models, actors, actresses, singers, film directors and religious leaders etc to destroy the culture of this country. Through them, they are trying to destroy what is morally and culturally valued so far in this country.

    Mahila Sunday, 11 February 2024 10:20 PM

    WHO will continue donating funds, enjoyment of "Pinpadi Charity seekers"!!?? What’s overawing need – PARLIAMENTARIANS Enjoying “SUBSIDISED 5 STAR MEALS”, when ‘NO MONEY ALLOCATION’ for IMMUNISATIONS, X-Ray, Body Scan, Hospital Beds!!? AS IMMEDIATE SOLUTION, commend Parliament, SUBSIDISING “PAAN

    Waco Monday, 12 February 2024 05:02 AM

    What was the Auditor General doing? Has he not done annual Audits?

    Waco Monday, 12 February 2024 05:03 AM

    What was the Auditor General doing? Has he not done annual Audits?


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment





Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

Human lives at stake… When protectors of the law become predators

On Thursday (January 18), a sub-inspector attached to the Narammala Police St

Research on sex work during Lankan civil war: Sex workers and their faint cries to access basic rights

A broken pair of rubber slippers kept on a display caught this writer’s eye

Newlywed Sri Lankans forced to remain childless

The ongoing economic crisis in the country is not only impacting the availabi

Paramedics and docs in tug of war over raise in DAT allowance

On Tuesday (January 9), staffers in the paramedic services launched an unanno