|Published : 15 Mar 2017, 20:59:57|
UK watchdog probes Hindu charity over irregularities
LONDON, Mar 15 (PTI): Britain's charities watchdog has opened a statutory inquiry into the workings of Bhaarat Welfare Trust citing a number of "serious regulatory concerns" about the financial management of the Hindu charity.
The Charity Commission said it had identified a "number of serious regulatory concerns" about the financial management of the Trust, which is based in Leicester.
This included an alleged inability to account for funds transferred to India between April 2010 and March 2015.
"The Commission conducted a books and records inspection at the charity in May 2015, and identified a number of serious regulatory concerns about the financial management of the charity.
"In particular the Commission had concerns about the ability of the trustees to account for funds transferred to India between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2015, the basis on which donations for a specific project were held, unmanaged conflicts of interests and whether Gift Aid (tax exemption) had been validly claimed by the charity," the commission said in a statement yesterday.
The Commission, however, stressed that opening an inquiry is "not in itself a finding of wrong doing".
"The charity has objects to promote the Hindu culture and religion, to advance education and to relieve poverty. It carries these out by making grants, primarily overseas. The Commission has been engaging with the charity since 2013, but found serious issues when it visited the charity in 2015," the statement added.