NGO AND INGO REGISTRATION PROCEDURE IN BANGLADESH
In order to have NGO and INGO registered in Bangladesh or an entity willing to operate or receive foreign funding for the purpose of undertaking or carrying any voluntary activity, it is imperative to have such entity registered with the concerned authority and follow Government’s specifications.
As per the laws of Bangladesh, the term “voluntary activity” can be explicated as “an activity undertaken or carried on (partially or entirely with external assistance) by any person or organization of his or its own free will to render agricultural, relief, missionary, educational, cultural, vocational, social, welfare and developmental services, and shall include any such activity as the Government may, from time to time, specify to be a voluntary activity.”
Any entity whose activities fall within the ambit of the definition mentioned above needs to have it registered to carry out its operation in Bangladesh.
In order to register an International Non-Government Organization (INGO) or local based Non-Government Organization (NGO), an application needs to be filed with the concerned authority. The NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB) (which is under the Ministry of Social Welfare of Bangladesh) and the Ministry of Home Affairs shall be the relevant authorities in Bangladesh in this regard. However, for example the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare or Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief or any other relevant authority which administers the entity’s activity shall also play a vital role.
NGO and INGO Registration in Bangladesh
Firstly, registration of the INGO or NGO must be taken by the entity from the concerned authority that is NGOAB. Application in prescribed form is to be made to the NGOAB along with making payment of the requisite fee and all relevant documents such as activity report, letter of intent, constitution, copy of Treasury Challan with regard to the payment of the registration fees etc.
Upon submission of the application to the NGOAB, it shall be forwarded to the Ministry of Social-Welfare and also to the Ministry of Home Affairs for review and inspection of the documents submitted. After receiving the documents, the concerned Ministries shall appoint the Special Branch of Police and National Security Intelligence to conduct a security check on the applicant and upon such scrutiny issue a as clearance addressing the Ministry of Home Affairs, provided the appointed bodies are satisfied with their inquires. Once the clearance is given to the NGOAB it shall proceed with their review and final scrutiny of the documents.
While considering the application the Ministry shall take into account factors such as: the entity which applied for registration was involved in anti-state/ anti-social activities or any other criminal activity, introduction of members of the applicants organization, mutual relationship and social stature, previous experiences of the entity in relation to social welfare activities, and details on whether entity which applied has its own office. By considering the above mentioned criterion, the relevant authorities shall decide whether to approve the application or not. However, if the application is approved, the applicant shall be provided with a letter of registration to operate in Bangladesh.
It is officially stated that the entire procedure for registration usually takes 90 working days to complete. However, in practice the entire procedure may take 6 months to complete.