Monday, 19 May 2014

Country-specific, State-wise Fund Flows via FCRA

In the earlier Posts, we got introduced to FCRA, and learnt of the steep increase in fund flow during 2004-05. We also learnt about names of prominent Organizations in different States, i.e., Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. 

In this Post, let us see how much do charities/organizations located in different countries send funds to different States of India. This kind of "sorting" is essential to identify any emerging patterns in fund flows. The Home Ministry produces Annual Reports which provide information on country-wise contributions to organizations in India. They do not give out summary of which countries give how much money to Organizations in each State.

Before we actually see the data, I would like to share the methodology used, so that anyone else can check if the procedure adopted is correct and can reproduce the results I have obtained.

  1. Go to . Select a Year and a State. For example, 2012-13 and Andhra Pradesh. 
  2. This will lead you to a page containing a Table with 1872 entries. Each entry corresponds to the FC-6 returns filed by an Indian Organization registered with Min. of Home Affairs to receive foreign funds. 
  3. Click on any Organization. Say, for example, Serial No. 3, "AMG India International". It will lead you to:
  4. This page contains details of funds received by AMGII in 2012-13 from various foreign organizations, in a specified format. It received 43.37 Crore in that year. Scroll down to the end of the page. You will see that AMGII received 9.33 Crore from Netherlands, 2.03 Crore from USA and 32.01 Crore from Germany.
  5. Thus, for Andhra Pradesh, 1872 such files exist. Suppose we add up all the sums received from USA as reported in all these 1872 files, we will obtain the total amount of money received by AP from USA in 2012-13.
  6. How did I do this? I downloaded these 1872 files. Used the following Unix shell script:
             cat fc3*|grep -A1 "United States of America"|grep Right|sed 's/<td\ 
             align\=\"Right\">//'|sed 's/<\/td>//'|awk '{total=total+$1}END{print  
             "USA ", total/1e7}'

           where fc3* are the files (all 1872 of them).

    Thus, one can obtain funds received from any country to Organizations located in a given State. One can do this process for all States. One can repeat these operations over all the years for which the data is available.

Important Note: As I have mentioned earlier, funds received by an Organization located in a State, need not all be spent by that Organization in the same State. For example, Caruna Bal Vikas is located in Chennai. However, it remits the funds received to many other Organizations located across the country which likely spend that money locally.

Figure 1
From Figure 1, we see that Organizations in TN receive around Rs. 700 Crore p.a. from US, while those in AP, KL, KA or WB receive only around Rs. 350-400 Crore p.a.

Why this disparity between TN and the other four States?

Chennai is the Headquarters of World Vision of India and of Caruna Bal Vikas. In 2012-13, they received Rs. 250 Crore and Rs. 130 Crore respectively. A huge fraction (> 92%) of their funding comes from USA. However, as remarked earlier, they do not spend all this money within TN. They send funds to various other (smaller) organizations across all over India. Given these, it will not be far-fetched to state that the effective funds from USA spent in TN is approximately Rs. 350-400 Crore.

Conjecture: Is Rs. 350-400 Crore p.a., the asymptotic limit of funds received by Organizations in any State from USA? May be.

The data for West Bengal is a bit interesting. So, let us examine it a little more closely (as in Figure 1, the magnitude of funds for TN skews the scale of the y-axis).

Figure 2
From Figure 2, you can see that while funds from USA to organizations in West Bengal is increasing, that to Odisha is nearly flat over the years. If the above Conjecture is true, WB's data should flatten out at 350-400 Crore p.a. The large interest on West Bengal is itself interesting which we shall examine in detail in a subsequent Post. Which Organizations in West Bengal receive money? You can read that here.

Which other countries send money to States? That is shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1
Observations regarding Table 1:
  1. Country codes are Top Level Domains provided by ICANN
  2. The large amount for AP from ES (Spain) is due to a truly non-denominational NGO called Rural Development Trust, Anantpur, whose website is
  3. Sum of money received from Western Europe (DE+NL+CH+FI+AT+BE+NO+FR+SE+DK) are  Rs. 409.5 and 265.8 Crore for TN and AP respectively. It shows the more European characteristic of NGO Operations in Tamil Nadu vis-a-vis the more North American characteristic in Andhra Pradesh.
  4. Internal consistency check: If you add the amounts for, say, TN received from various countries listed above, it sums up to Rs. 1395.29 Crore. Similar analysis for amounts from within India adds up to Rs. 281.26 Crore. The sum of these two is Rs. 1676.3 Crore which is close to the total FC funds received by TN in 2011-12, viz. Rs. 1693.6 Crore (the difference coming from countries not examined in Table 1 above)
I thank the Ministry of Home Affairs for providing the FCRA data in full on their website, without having to go through the process of RTI.

Postscript: I hope that the procedure adopted by me is correct. Please let me know if you find something amiss. I am keen to learn. Thanks.

Postscript 2 (on June 01, 2014): The 2012-2013 FCRA data continues to be actively updated on the MHA website. Hence the value for 2012-13 above can be taken as a lower bound. The 2011-2012 data too continues to be updated, but at a much slower rate and hence can be taken to be a "converged" value.

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