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.