ISLAMABAD - The sub-committee of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday decided to make certain changes in policy framework for facilitation of INGOs (International Non-Government Organisations) to make it more rational and transparent.

The committee also decided that draft of the amended policy framework would be presented in Cabinet meeting as early after its finalisation. It was decided during the meeting that the policy framework would be in line with the present constitutional and legal framework.

The meeting was chaired by Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid and was attended by the Minister of State for Information Technology Ms Anusha Rahman, Secretary Economic Affairs Division Ms Nargis Sethi and representatives of State Bank of Pakistan and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. It is worth mentioning here that ECC on July 18 has decided to constitute a committee to streamline process of registering international and domestic non-governmental organisations.

The committee, headed by Science and Technology Minister Zahid Hamid, will submit its report to the ECC in two months and suggest how to check the rapid growth of INGOs and NGOs in the country.  The media reports quoted a report of the Abbottabad Commission as, there was no foolproof mechanism for registering INGOs and NGOs and their monitoring, posing a serious security threat to the country. Most of the NGOs are directly taking funds from international donors and their aim is not known to state institutions.

According to the sources, the government might make legislation making it mandatory for NGOs and religious seminaries to provide full details of foreign donors. The law would ensure monitoring and scrutiny of INGOs/ NGOs/ Madrassas operating in Pakistan on foreign money.

Meanwhile, according to a press statement, the committee also decided that the policy framework would be an interim arrangement till the finalisation and approval of a legal framework. It was further decided that the proposed law and the proposed policy framework should be harmonised. The committee also directed that work on finalisation of a draft bill should be expedited.

It was also decided that other stakeholders would be invited to the forthcoming meetings of the committee to hear their points of view before finalisation of a draft bill.

Reiterating the government position, Zahid Hamid said that objective of the exercise was to facilitate the flow of foreign contribution to the development and relief activities in the countries and to make the existing framework more smooth and transparent.

Earlier, detailed presentation was made during the meeting by Economic Affairs Division on the proposed policy framework for working and facilitation of International Non-Government Organisations and local NGOs which utilise foreign contributions in their operations in the country. Another presentation was made by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan regarding the proposed private member bill moved in the Senate for the same purpose.

The Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy and Pakistan Humanitarian Forum presented their views on the policy framework and the private members bill. The representatives of Pakistan Humanitarian Forum and Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy also attended the meeting on special invitation.