Decision on aid from overseas Indians this weekSeptember 16th, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) The government is awaiting cabinet approval for the setting up of a single-window mechanism for channelling contributions for development work from overseas Indians.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier in the year announced that the ministry of overseas Indian affairs was examining the proposal for the India Development Foundation (IDF), a non-profit autonomous trust.
He made the announcement at the last annual meeting of overseas Indians - the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas - in January.
“We expect the cabinet to consider the proposal and give its permission this week,” a senior ministry official told IANS.
The official said if the proposal was approved, contributions made through the IDF will be exempted from Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
“But, there will be strict provisions on verifying the source of the money and its usage, so that it does not come from dubious sources,” he said.
The foundation will partner with voluntary organisations engaged in development works to channel the contributions.
“Suppose an NRI wants his money to be used only for work in his native village, we can do this by partnering with local NGOs,” said another official.
Once the approval is granted, the administrative structure will be put in place in two to three months. “We want to make the fund operational before the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas,” he said.