Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010(FCRA)-The Hindu-08-11-2022
GS Paper 2:
Polity and Governance
The steps help to effectively monitor the receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution, says Ministry
Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010:
According to the MHA, between 2016 and 2020, the government cancelled the FCRA licences of more than 6,600 NGOs and suspended those of about 264.
Latest Supreme Court observations:
It has asked the government why the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been tasked to keep an eye on the inflow and subsequent outflow of foreign funds to NGOs under the foreign contributions regulations law.
Need for regulation:
Intelligence Bureau (IB) inputs have shown that foreign funds entering India were used to fund activities that destabilise national peace and security. The inputs even indicated that the money was used to train naxals. There is an element of national security, integrity of the nation involved here.
According to the CBI, Only about 10 per cent of the over 22 lakh non-government organisations file their annual income and expenditure statements with the authorities they are registered with.
Latest 2020 amendments and criticisms associated:
The amendments mandated that registered NGOs open a designated account in the main branch of the State Bank of India in the Capital in which the foreign contributions to their various causes would exclusively land.
The petitioners have argued that this measure would be cumbersome for NGOs operating in rural India and far away from the Capital.
FCRA regulates foreign donations and ensures that such contributions do not adversely affect the internal security of the country. The Act, first enacted in 1976 was amended in the year 2010 and then 2020.
Section 5 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 gives the Union government “unchecked and unbridled powers” to declare an organisation as being one of political nature and deny it access to funds from sources abroad.
FCRA is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Prior Reference Category under the Act: It implies that to donate to such an NGO, a foreign donor has to take prior clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs.