Skip to main content

Policy for Regulation of International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs)

GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN MINISTRY OF INTERIOR ***** Notification No.6/34/2015 -PE-III Islamabad, 1st October, 2015 Policy for regulation of International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs) in Pakistan 1. PREAMBLE 1.1 This policy will regulate, in future, the registration, working, funding, monitoring and other related aspects pertaining to all types of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) functioning in Pakistan. 1.2 The Government of Pakistan acknowledges the diverse contributions of International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs) in the socio-economic development of Pakistan, through means such as awareness-raising, social-mobilization, infrastructure-development, service delivery, training, research and advocacy. 1.3 This policy recognizes and affirms the need for collaboration with the INGOs by the Government as well as by the private sector. Accountability of all stakeholders and transparency in functioning are the key issues in good governance. INGOs are expected to conform to international best practices in these areas. The Government will recognize the excellence in governance among INGOs by promoting best practices. 2. SCOPE OF THE POLICY 2.1 This Policy will have sole jurisdiction over all types of International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs) (including not-for-profits that may not be registered in their home countries as INGOs but are still, part of the not-profit sector and undertake activities similar to typical INGOs) receiving foreign

contributions or utilizing foreign economic assistance to engage in various development programs in Pakistan. 2.2 To be covered under this Policy, an INGO should be: • A private entity i.e. separate from the Government. • Not receiving return profits generated to their owners or directors or staff. • Self-governing i.e. not controlled by the Government. • A registered organization with defined aims and objectives. 3. OBJECTIVES OF THE POLICY 3.1 To facilitate and streamline the registration and functioning of INGOs contributing to socio-economic development of Pakistan while ensuring that they abide by the relevant laws and norms of Pakistan. 3.2 To encourage the INGOs to build a synergistic relationship with the Government and private sector, at the local, provincial and national levels, through ensuring efficient execution of their programs and activities in the best public interest. 3.3 To identify systems by which the Government may work together with INGOs on the basis of the principles of mutual trust, respect and with shared responsibility. 3.4 To enable the INGOs to receive legitimate foreign contributions or foreign economic assistance through legal channels and appropriately utilize these financial resources on the agreed areas of public welfare, simultaneously ensuring due monitoring, accountability and transparency of their governance, management and funding streams. 4. REGISTRATION AND FUNDING 4.1 INGOs receiving foreign contributions (funds, materials and services) emanating from outside Pakistan or utilizing foreign economic assistance will require prior registration exclusively with the Ministry of Interior (MOI). 4.2 INGOs shall not raise funds and/or receive donations, locally, unless specifically authorized.

4.3 The INGOs shall declare to the Government of Pakistan all foreign funds, along with the terms and conditions of those funds, as well as details of all bank accounts maintained by them. The INGOs will maintain their financial accounts as per internationally accepted accounting standards. 4.4 There shall be an INGO Committee, chaired by Secretary Interior, in Ministry of Interior, to facilitate, streamline and monitor the working of INGOs. The INGO Committee will be the sole authority for approving registration of INGOs. 4.5 All INGOs presently operating in Pakistan will be required to apply for fresh registration on the newly introduced electronic version of the registration form, within 60 days from the date of proclamation of this policy. 4.6 Scrutiny of applications will be done by the INGO Committee within a period of 60 days. 4.7 Approved INGOs will be registered for specific field(s) of work and specified location(s) or areas of operation, after consultation with the relevant Federal and Provincial authorities, and in line with their needs and national priorities of Pakistan. 4.8 The INGO may apply for renewal of registration four (04) months prior to expiry of registration. 4.9 Pending final decision on application for registration, there will be no interim permission to work. However, previously registered INGOs will be allowed to continue their operations for six months or until final decision on their applications for fresh registration. 5. FUNCTIONING AND MONITORING 5.1 Subject to approval, the INGO will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government for a period upto 3 years from the date of signatures. A draft MOU is attached to this policy and can also be downloaded.

5.2 The INGOs will only be allowed to establish headquarters and field offices, open bank accounts, and hire local employees after registration with the Government. No unregistered INGO shall be allowed to function or issued visas for its personnel. 5.3 All INGOs shall submit an Annual Plan of Action detailing all envisaged projects and the respective budgetary allocations to Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and Ministry of Interior (MOI) at the time of registration, and subsequently on an annual basis. EAD will share these details with all concerned. The Planning and Development Departments of the Provincial Governments can also review the activities of the INGOs in terms of their TORs, and provide counsel where deemed appropriate. 5.4 INGOs shall only provide assistance (monetary and/or material) to a local or international NGO after approval of the Government. 5.5 Security clearance shall be obtained by Pakistan Missions abroad before issuing initial visa to the foreign nationals intending to work for INGOs. Hiring of foreign nationals by the INGOs in their management and/or staff shall be subject to prior clearance of Ministry of Interior. 5.6 Maximum duration of visas for non-Pakistani nationals working for the INGOs, will be one year. 5.7 The foreign employees of the INGOs shall seek prior permission of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) for visiting areas outside their designated areas of activities. Violation may lead to cancellation of visas. 5.8 Business / visit visas shall not be issued to INGOs staff. No request for change of status of visa shall be entertained in Pakistan or by Pakistan Missions abroad. 5.9 There will be regular and effective monitoring of INGOs’ activities and work throughout Pakistan. MOI will periodically update relevant authorities about the status and areas of operation / of INGOs enabling them to ensure effective vigilance on INGOs.

5.10 The INGOs shall not engage in money laundering, terrorist financing, weapon smuggling, anti-state activities or maintain links with the proscribed organizations. 5.11 Breach of security or involvement in any activity inconsistent with Pakistan’s national interests, or contrary to Government policy, will lead to cancellation of registration. Likewise, INGOs shall not take part or assist in any kind of political activities, conduct research or surveys unrelated to their TORs. Violation may lead to cancellation of registration. 5.12 Any information on violation of terms of reference by an INGO received by any Ministry / Department / Agency will be expeditiously shared with all concerned. 6. TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE 6.1 The INGOs shall be obliged to provide any information that the government may require from time to time. 6.2 There shall be proper regulation and monitoring of INGOs’ sources of funding, their accounts and tax returns. INGOs not fulfilling disclosure requirements will be proceeded against, under prescribed rules and regulations. 6.3 INGOs will be required to have their financial audit conducted by the auditors approved by the INGO Committee. 6.4 The INGOs shall fulfill reporting requirements mandated by the Government on the prescribed formats. The INGO Committee will devise these reporting formats as per requirements from time to time. 6.5 The INGOs shall be required to make all payments above Rs.20,000/- (Twenty Thousand) in Pakistan through banking channels. 7. REVIEW OF REGISTRATION 7.1 Right of appeal will be applicable only to the cases of cancellation of registration.

7.2 In case of grievance of any INGO against the orders of INGO Committee, the concerned INGO may file a representation (within 90 days from the date of orders of INGO Committee) before a Special Ministerial Committee to be constituted and notified by the Government. The said Committee would decide all representations within 90 days. The decision of this Committee would be final. 7.3 Any decision on termination of INGO registration shall be implemented within a period of 60 days, allowing such an INGO to fulfill all contractual obligations. Winding up of operations will be in accordance with the laid down procedure to be notified by the INGO Committee. Cancellation of registration cannot be challenged in any court of law. 7.4 If the Government may deem it in public interest (such as in situations of national disasters and other calamities), it may, subject to such conditions that it may specify, exempt an INGO from all or any of the provisions of this policy for a period not exceeding 6 months. Sd/- (KHALIL AHMED) Deputy Secretary (FIA)!