ISLAMABAD - The government has revoked the licences of 108 non-government organisations (NGOs) working in Pakistan, as they failed to comply with the government’s directions to renew their licences under the National Action Plan (NAP).

The government, in order to implement NAP to root out militancy and extremism, had asked the NGOs to renew their licences after a long debate on foreign funding for NGOs for dubious activities, especially after Peshawar carnage, which killed more than 140 people mostly children and teachers. Accordingly the SECP had launched a comprehensive effort on January 1, 2015 against such companies, and instructions were issued to all concerned for compliance.

However, a huge number of NGOs did not bother to fulfill the national obligations of renewing their licences, resulting in cancellation of the licences. “The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in exercise of powers under section 42 (4) of the Companies Ordinance, 1984 has revoked license of 108 defaulter (not for profit) companies registered with the SECP under section 42 of the Ordinance 1984”, said an official handout released here. In the first stage show cause notices to 136 defaulter companies which had neither filed any accounts nor applied for renewal of license during the last five years had been initiated duly providing them an opportunity of hearing and after detailed scrutiny of each case. The Commission has finally revoked licences of 108 companies, while the remaining shall be dealt with shortly.

Out of total 643 NGOs registered under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984, 423 NGOs were required to renew their licences.

As per SECP circular number 29/2008, dated December 24, 2008, all Section 42 companies were issued conditional licences for a period of five years, upon completion of which the not-for-profit companies are required to apply for renewal of their licences as per issued guidelines. The licenced organisations are under obligation to comply with the conditions of licence granted to them as well as other requirements applicable under the relevant provisions of law.

The list of such companies has also been placed on the SECP’s website for general information to all stakeholders. The concerned registrars of the Company Registration Offices have been instructed to initiate legal proceedings in terms of Section 439 of the Companies Ordinance 1984 to strike off the name of such companies.

The SECP registers non-profit organisations under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance and grants them licence for a definite period of five years. The NGOs were required to submit an application for the renewal of their licence along with copies of annual audited accounts, complete profiles of chief executive and directors, statement of work, details of the amount of donations and grants received, statement from chartered accountant that funds/grants/donations were received through banking channels, and details of donors.