Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Does the non-profit sector matter?

Rajesh Tandon, President of PRIA in business standard writes about the non-profit sector in India. He presents some very interesting facts from a nationwide survey conducted by PRIA about the size and the scale of the non-profit sector in India and concludes that this sector as a whole is neglected by the government. Some excerpts:

  • The most significant findings of the study relate to employment. The survey estimates that nearly 20 million people work on a paid or volunteer basis in NPOs. Full-time equivalent paid employment in NPOs is nearly six million.

  • Just note that full-time paid employment in NPOs is nearly four-fifth of all central government employees. But is there a pay commission for NPO employees? NPO employees (full-time equivalent) constitute 25 per cent of all central and state government employees taken together and 14 per cent of employment in the organised private sector.

  • In Delhi, paid employees in NPOs constitute nearly a quarter of the relatively large non-agricultural employment

  • On the revenue front, the survey estimates that NPOs generated receipts of nearly Rs 18,000 crore in 1999-2000. More than half of these receipts were self-generated; government funds constituted a third, and the rest were private contributions.

  • The survey findings explode the myth of foreign funding too ? only 7.4 per cent of all receipts were from foreign sources.

  • Thus, the contribution of NPOs to the Indian economy is significant. Total receipts of NPOs are equivalent to 7.7 per cent of total central government expenditure on social services during 1999-2000.

  • And he raises some valid questions:

  • Do the state governments pay any attention to NPOs?

  • But is there a pay commission for NPO employees?

  • But is there a social security system for them?

  • But do national policy-makers, macro-economists or the Planning Commission care about the contributions of the NPOs to Indian economy?

  • The Not for Profit sector is one of the most important sectors in the country. After the Agricultural, Government and Coprorate sector this is the sector which has the most number of employees and due to its concentration on educational and health institutions, welfare organisations, cultural and sports organisations, research and training institutes, development organisations, etc makes it valuable for what human beings most care for. The sector also provides a lot of satisfaction and as Peter Drucker calls it a second career for many through volunteering and part time jobs.


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