CUTS IN MEDIA-September 2010

 

 

 

Information disseminated to stop Cheating
Dainik Bhaskar, September 28, 2010

Be Alert for Your Rights
Dainik Navjyoti, September 28, 2010

Consumers Should Become Aware
Rajasthan Patrika, September 28, 2010

Consumer Protection Act is a medium to stop cheating
Praatah Kaal, September 28, 2010

Workshop organised
Praatah Kaal, September 27, 2010

Consumer Unity and Trust Society Unhappy With Uniform Fuel Prices
Muvi Television, September 27, 2010

Consumer Should Understand Their Duties-Bairwa
Dainik Navjyoti, eptember 27, 2010

Important to strengthen proof
Rajasthan Patrika, September 27, 2010

Information about Consumer Rights Disseminated
Dainik Bhaskar, September 27, 2010

Workshop Today
Dainik Navjyoti, September 27, 2010

Zambia: Govt warned on uniform fuel price
Lusaka Times, September 23, 2010

CUTS International observes weaknesses in news consumer bill
The Post Zambia, September 21, 2010

District consumer forums failed to act on time: Survey District consumer forums
Times of India, Jaipur, September 19, 2010

Making the WTO Democratic
Jamaica Observer, September 19, 2010

Children discussed village problems in Gram Sabha
Dainik Bhaskar, September 19, 2010

Commentary: Making the WTO democratic
Caribbean News Now, September 17, 2010

Informal trade deals blow to EAC revenue collectors
Business Daily Africa, September 17, 2010

Regulation of collusive practices in health sector stressed
Assam Tribune, September 16, 2010

Industry demands benefit sharing between exporters, producers
India Company News, September 15, 2010

Benefits of exports should be shared with producers
Sify/Bombay News, September 12, 2010

CCI free to order probe in case of prima facie breach, says SC
The Financial Express, September 10, 2010

Ohio outsourcing ban: Weak case for India in WTO say experts
The Economic Times, September 10, 2010

Consumer's lack of awareness for injustice
Dainik Navjyoti, September 10, 2010

Awareness is Compulsory
Rajasthan Patrika, Dausa, September 08, 2010

Non government forum is need for consumer protection
Rastradoot, Bundi, September 09, 2010

Children in Sawa ki Dhani made roads smooth
Dainik Bhaskar, September 09, 2010

Children contributed voluntary labor to present unique example
Dainik Navjyoti, September 09, 2010

Informed about Right to Information
Rastra Doot, Dausa, September 07, 2010

Be aware consumer and escape from exploitation
Dainik Bhaskar, Dausa, September 07, 2010

Food items will be provided on low cost in PDS
Punjab Kesari, Dausa, September 07, 2010

Programme on the Need for Compilation of Facts and Measures for Eradication
Patrika, Raipur, September 07, 2010

Meet on collusive behaviour in health care delivery
Hitavada, Raipur, September 07, 2010

Inagurated Consumer's Workshop
Rajasthan Patrika, Dausa, September 06, 2010

Consumer should come along with complete document
Dausa Bureau, Dausa, September 06, 2010

Consumer training camp concluded
Dausa Bureau, Dausa, September 06, 2010

Aim to benefit the persons with disability
Dainik Navjyoti, September 05, 2010

Consumer should understand their rights
Rajasthan Patrika, Sikar, September 04, 2010

Information on consumer rights were told
Dainik Bhaskar, Jalore, September 04, 2010

Consumer training workshop beguns
Dainik Navjyoti, Sikar, September 04, 2010

Traders escape from law because of unawareness
Dainik Navjyoti, Bundi, September 04, 2010

Consumer Training Workshop
Dainik Bhaskar, Sikar, September 04, 2010

It is the responsibility of society to serve persons with disability
Rajasthan Patrika, September 04, 2010

Disability is a state, not a disease
Dainik Bhaskar, September 04, 2010

Ensure Rights of Persons with Disability
Rajasthan Patrika, September 04, 2010

Need to gather evidence of collusive behaviour
Central Chronicle, Raipur, September 04, 2010

It's time to rethink regulation
Hindustan Times, September 04, 2010

Your Right as a Consumer are not Well Protected
Times of India, New Delhi, September 04, 2010

Law to Restrict Foreign Funding Alarms NGOs
Inter Press Services, September 03, 2010

Survey on disabled soon
Times of India, Jaipur, September 03, 2010

Ensure Participation of Persons with Disability in Development Programs
Dainik Navjyoti, September 03, 2010

CUTS International recommends more investment in mineral refineries
The Post Zambia, September 02, 2010

Recognise your Rights
Rajasthan Patrika, Jaipur, September 02, 2010

 

DLTW announcement
Dainik Bhaskar, Churu, September 02, 2010

Consumer awareness training camp concluded
Jaltay Deep, Jodhpur, September 02, 2010

Consumer awareness training camp concluded
Dainik Navjyoti, Jodhpur, September 02, 2010

Consumer Protection is today's need
Rajasthan Patrika, Churu, September 02, 2010

Consumer awareness training begun
Jangan Dainik, Jodhpur, September 01, 2010

Rural population should be made more aware
Jaltay Deep, Jodhpur, September 01, 2010

Awareness required at rural area
Rajasthan Patrika, September 01, 2010

Awareness compulsory for consumer welfare
Dainik Bhaskar, Churu, September 01, 2010

Conducted consumer awareness training programme
Dainik Navjyoti, Jodhpur, September 01, 2010

 

Law to Restrict Foreign Funding Alarms NGOs
Inter Press Services, September 03, 2010

Voluntary and charitable organisations in India are aghast at a new law to restrict foreign contributions, that was passed by both Houses of Parliament recently.

The Foreign Contributions Regulatory Act (FCRA), 2010 was passed by the Lower House of Parliament on Aug. 27 and by the Upper House a week earlier. Critics say the law violates the National Policy on Voluntary Organisations adopted in 2007, which promised to enable voluntary organisations to "legitimately mobilise necessary financial resources from India and abroad."

According to a statement released by the Voluntary Action Network of India (VANI), a national umbrella organisation for civil society organisations (CSO), the new Act "places enormous discretion in the hands of officials to determine whether a CSO will be allowed to function or not."

"The new regulations are a terrible step backwards because they give the government arbitrary and draconian powers to restrict the activities of NGOs that they might find uncomfortable to work with," Nisha Agrawal, chief executive officer of the charity Oxfam-India, told IPS.

"Rights based organisations such as Oxfam-India and our partners play a vital role in a democracy to hold governments accountable for actually delivering on their plans and promises to build a truly just and equitable society," said Agrawal. "We need funds to carry out this work."

Agrawal said the functioning of NGOs in India already stands crippled by a tax regime that does not encourage local philanthropy. "There are very few local trusts and foundations that support rights-based work and only 50 percent of these make donations to NGOs. Estate taxes also do not encourage leaving a part of one's estate to NGOs," she added.

Pradeep Mehta, secretary-general of the Jaipur-based Consumer Unity and Trusts Society (CUTS), says that along with the new Act, the government needs to differentiate between non-government organisations (NGOs) and profit-making entities in matters of taxation.

"Proposals to uniformly tax surpluses of the NGO sector are unjustified as they club together voluntary organisations working on public welfare issues with trusts working as educational or religious institutions, chambers of commerce and so on," Mehta said.

The laws dealing with NGOs in the provinces are even more archaic. Thus CUTS itself is governed by the Rajasthan Societies Act and clubbed along with educational establishments that have a clear eye on making profits.

Mehta agrees that bad eggs do exist in the voluntary sector. "There is need for regulation, but this should respect the role of NGOs that is clearly defined, for example, in the achievement of the millennium development goals of the United Nations."

During the debate in the Lower House over FCRA, union minister of state for home Ajay Maken said the law was needed to prevent the misuse of foreign funds to "divide the country on religious basis" and also deal with organisations that have been found diverting funds from development activities.

According to Maken there were over 40,000 organisations in India that receive foreign contributions and, of these, only 18,000 submit accounts to the government.

The new law, Maken said, will require NGOs to renew their registrations every five years to weed out the dormant ones. Banks also will be required to report transfers that exceed one million rupees (21,327 dollars), enabling the government to quickly track the source of large funds.

Maken said the act prohibits certain individuals and organisations from accepting overseas funds and these include cooperative societies, election candidates, correspondents, editors and publishers of newspapers, judges, government officials, members of Parliament and political parties.

Legislators pointed out to Maken that NGOs were increasingly being by private companies to carry out corporate social responsibility projects and activities.

They added that many of the Act's objectives were already being met by a plethora of laws such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Foreign Exchange Management Act, as well as the Income Tax Act.

A joint study of the new FCRA by VANI and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) said asking NGOs to renew registration every five years would place limitations on their ability to plan ahead and also increase the possibility of corruption. "We believe this will create an atmosphere of continuous intimidation and provide enhanced opportunities for rent seeking," the study said.

While the government will deny registration under FCRA to political organizations, it has left the definition of "political in nature" vague and prone to be misused against "anybody whom the establishment wants to target without reasons directly connected to internal security."

By preventing NGOs from investing their funds, under FCRA rules concerning "speculative activities", the government is effectively preventing them from observing responsible housekeeping practices and becoming self-sustaining, the VANI-CHRI study said. "The government has been given the power to determine what kinds of activities are speculative and this amounts to unjustifiable interference in internal management," it said.

Perhaps the most draconian feature of the new law is that it gives the police arbitrary power to search and seize, circumventing the well-established protections and norms of the criminal procedure code.

According to CHRIs Maja Daruwala. "This dilution of due process is unconstitutional and signals the thin end of the wedge whereby future laws can more easily dilute constitutional protections act by act." (END)

This news item can also be viewed at:

http://www.ipsnews.net/
http://www.globalissues.org/

 

 
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Consumer Unity & Trust Society
D217, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park, 
Jaipur  302 016, India,
Ph: +91(0)141-2282821
Fax: 91.141.2282485
Email: cuts@cuts.org

Copyright 2005 Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), All rights reserved.
D217, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park, Jaipur 302 016, Rajasthan, India
Ph: 91.141.2282821, Fax: 91.141.2282485

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