Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Charitable trusts’ details to go online


PUNE: To curb dubious land deals and other violations, the charity commissioner's office has opted to digitise all records, including registrations of trusts and societies.

In Pune, there are 59,632 trusts. Around 60% of the work has been digitized, the office said. The digital initiative will see all details of registered trusts, including their trustees, the nature and the title of the lands they hold, changes of status etc, updated and made available online.

Once the records are updated, the office hopes that files pertaining to inactive trusts can be discarded. Officials estimate that nearly 50% of registered trusts exist only on paper. In Pune region — Pune, Ahmednagar, Satara, Solapur — there are 1.33 lakh registered trusts, while in the state, there are 7.5 lakh trusts.

"The details of each registered trust with the charity commissioner's office are being checked, and all the documents are being scanned and uploaded. Digitization would ensure better monitoring," said officials.

Apart from details of the trusts, details on the government land granted to them will also be checked. For charitable hospitals, the number of hospital beds too will be uploaded, which would enable a citizen to get those details by just visiting the website.

Officials further stated that many records pertaining to lands held by charitable organizations in the state haven't been updated for nearly a decade. As a consequence, action could not be taken despite numerous complaints. Digitization will ensure transparency in the process.

Currently, such details are manually entered into the record, known as Schedule I, which is available with the charity commissioner's office. Due to staff shortage, entries were not always completed.

According to statistics, Mumbai has over 95,000 registered charitable trusts, followed by Pune with 59,632 registered trusts. Revenue officials stated that there were cases of charitable trusts that had allegedly sold prime government-leased land to private developers. With digitisation, such cases can be prevented. 


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