Missionaries of Charity under enforcement scanner?

Kolkata (Matters India): The Missionaries of Charity, a Catholic religious congregation founded by Blessed Mother Teresa, is among 12 organizations reportedly facing government probe into their accounts.

The multi-edition Economic Times newspaper Monday reported that the Enforcement Directorate has initiated a probe into the five organizations in West Bengal and seven in neighboring Odisha states.

Prominent among them, besides the Missionaries of Charity, are Bharat Sevasram Sangha and International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

Sister Christie, spokesperson of Missionaries of Charity, said, “I am not aware of this development. But generally we always comply with government rules and furnish all required details.”

The newspaper quoted unnamed sources in the finance ministry to say Mother Teresa’s congregation received 1.97 billion rupees from foreign agencies in the last three years.

Another Kolkata NGO, Compassion East, received around 2.2 billion rupees, Bharat Sevsram Sangha 220 million and ISKCON 820 million rupees in the same period.
Based on the inputs by the Ministry of Home Affairs the directorate has started an ‘open inquiry into the foreign funding’ to the NGOs.

ED served notices to all of these organizations and sought financial details. It was learnt from informed sources that four of these NGOs received huge amount of foreign funds, mostly from USA and Canada, in tune of 5 billion rupees in last couple of years. The NGOs have already submitted details responding to the notices served by ED, however, the directorate has found some reports as ‘inconclusive’.

“We have received documents from the NGOs. All of these NGOs have several branches. The documents are being scrutinized now.

Some of the NGOs said that they have disbursed funds for certain activities which are not on record,’ said a source.

Swami Biswatmananda, General Secretary of Bharat Sevashram Sangha told ET, “We have furnished all our details to the ED. In fact, we requested the union home ministry to investigate the foreign funding.

Several NGOs have started receiving funds from foreign countries for wrong reasons.” The ISKCON too confirmed ET that the financials were sought for and the organization has submitted all details to the directorate.

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