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Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)

Topics Covered: Money laundering.

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA):


Why in News?

Govt. suspends FCRA clearance of four Christian groups for various reasons.

What is FCRA clearance? Why is it needed?

It is mandatory to have FCRA clearance from the Home Ministry for any organisation to receive foreign funds.

  • Foreign funding of voluntary organizations in India is regulated under FCRA act and is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Key provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010:

  1. Under the Act, organisations require to register themselves every five years.
  2. As per the amended FCRA rules, all NGOs registered or granted prior permission under FCRA are now required to upload details of foreign contributions received and utilized by them every three months on their website or the FCRA website.
  3. NGOs now need to file their annual returns online, with the hard copy version dispensed with.

Who cannot accept Foreign Contribution?

  1. Election candidate
  2. Member of any legislature (MP and MLAs)
  3. Political party or office bearer thereof
  4. Organization of a political nature
  5. Correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publishers of a registered Newspaper.
  6. Judge, government servant or employee of any corporation or any other body controlled on owned by the Government.
  7. Association or company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news, audio visual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode
  8. Any other individuals or associations who have been specifically prohibited by the Central Government

What is the eligibility criteria for grant of registration?

The Association:

  • must be registered (under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or Indian Trusts Act 1882 or section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 etc.)
  • normally be in existence for at least 3 years.
  • has undertaken reasonable activity in its field for the benefit of the society.
  • Has spent at least Rs.10,00,000/- (Rs. ten lakh) over the last three years on its activities.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. When was FCRA enacted?
  2. Who administers the legislation?
  3. Definition of foreign funding as per the act.
  4. Who cannot accept foreign contributions as per the act.
  5. What is the eligibility criteria for grant of registration?

Mains Link:

Discuss why FCRA has been controversial in the recent past.

Sources: the Hindu.