Foreign Contribution Regulation Act
Out of the six NGOs whose license under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) was suspended by the Union Home Ministry this year, four are Christian associations.
- The four Christian groups whose FCRA was suspended are Ecreosoculis North Western Gossner Evangelical in Jharkhand, the Evangelical Churches Association (ECA) in Manipur, Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jharkhand and New Life Fellowship Association (NLFA) in Mumbai. The reasons for the suspension or violation were not specified.
- Government of India enacted the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) in the year 1976 with an objective of regulating the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution.
- The legislation aims to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies.
- It aims to prohibit funding for any activities detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith.
- The act was majorly modified in 2010 with several amendments because many NGOs were found using illegal use of foreign funding.
Recent changes in FCRA
- Earlier, as per the FCRA 2010, only applicants such as directors who sought permission to receive foreign funds were required to make such a declaration. Now, every member of an NGO must, under oath, through an affidavit, declare that they have never been involved in diverting foreign funds or “sedition” or “advocating violent means”.
- It has been made mandatory for office bearers and key functionaries and members to certify that they have not been “prosecuted or convicted” for “conversion” from one faith to another and for creating “communal tension and disharmony”.
Who are debarred from receiving foreign contribution?
- Candidate contesting an election
- Cartoonist, editor, publishers of registered newspaper
- Government servants or employee of any corporation
- Member of any legislature