MPs seek details of 1,000 NGOs receiving foreign funding

Ijaz Kakakhel

A legislative panel of Upper House of Parliament on Friday directed the Ministry of Economic Affair Division to provide details of 1,000 non-government organizations, who are receiving foreign funding.

The direction was given in the Senate Standing Committee on Economic Affairs meeting which was held at Parliament House while Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman was in the chair.

During briefing, the committee was told that out of a total of 16,000 NGOs, which are working in the country in different fields only 1,000 receive foreign funding and fall under the purview of the Economic Affairs Division. The Committee directed that details of these 1,000 NGOs should be shared with it.

While deliberating on agenda item (ii) pertaining to legislative cover to the NGOs receiving foreign funding in the light of the Sindh High Court Judgment, the committee was informed that EAD only deals with NGOs receiving foreign funding.

The meeting was attended by Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Manzoor Ahmed, Senator Atta Ur Rehman and senior officers of the Ministry of Economic Affairs along with all concerned.

The Committee was briefed regarding the role, performance, mandate and functions of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. It also reviewed budgets, external debt and liabilities and details of multilateral and bilateral development partners. Steps taken by the Ministry to provide legislative cover to NGOs receiving foreign funding in the light of the Sindh High Court Judgement was discussed as well.

The Committee was informed that the Ministry’s mandate revolved around External Public Debt Management and Establishment and administration of Joint Economic Commissions to create platforms to promote bilateral economic cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, agriculture, industry, education, health, transport and communication and financial assistance. While being briefed on Pakistan technical assistance program, the committee was informed that foreign students attend programs offered by HEC recognized universities.

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