Foreign Contribution Regulation Act

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Overview:

Recently, the Central government of India suspended the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of the Centre for Policy Research (CPR)

About Foreign Contribution Regulation Act:

  • This act was enacted during the Emergency in 1976 amid apprehensions that foreign powers were interfering in India’s affairs by pumping money into the country through independent organisations.
  • The FCRA requires every person or NGO seeking to receive foreign donations to be
    • Registered under the Act
    • To open a bank account for the receipt of foreign funds in the State Bank of India, Delhi.
    • To utilise those funds only for the purpose for which they have been received and as stipulated in the Act.

 Eligibility criteria for the registration

  • These registrations are granted to individuals or associations that have definite cultural, economic, educational, religious, and social programmes.
  • The applicant should not be fictitious or benami; and should not have been prosecuted or convicted for indulging in activities aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious faith to another.
  • Once granted, FCRA registration is valid for five years. NGOs are expected to apply for renewal within six months of the date of expiry of registration.
  • Registration can be cancelled if an inquiry finds a false statement in the application
  • Once the registration of an NGO is cancelled, it is not eligible for re-registration for three years.
  • The ministry also has the power to suspend an NGO’s registration for 180 days pending inquiry and can freeze its funds.
  • All orders of the government can be challenged in the High Court.

 


Q1) What is an NGO?

A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a group that functions independently of any government. It is usually non-profit. NGOs, sometimes called civil society organizations, are established on community, national, and international levels.

Source: FCRA licence of think tank CPR suspended: What is FCRA, why the licence matters