About the FCRA Act:

  • The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) of 2010 is a federal law that regulates foreign contributions.
  • Foreign funding of volunteer groups in India is governed by the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which is enforced by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Organizations are required to register every five years under the Act.
  • All NGOs registered or granted prior approval under the FCRA must now upload details of foreign contributions received and used every three months on their website or the FCRA website, according to the updated FCRA guidelines.
  • NGOs must now file their annual reports online, and the hard copy version is no longer required. The annual returns must be posted quarterly on the NGO’s website or the home ministry’s FCRA website.

Who is eligible to accept foreign contributions:

  • After obtaining registration or previous approval from the Central Government, a person with a specific cultural, economic, educational, religious, or social program can receive foreign contributions.

Who cannot accept foreign contributions under the FCRA:

  • Candidate for election
  • Any legislator’s member (MP and MLAs)
  • A political party or one of its office bearers
  • A political organization is a group of people who work together to achieve a common goal.
  • Editor, owner, printer, or publishers of a registered newspaper. Correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer, or publishers of a registered newspaper.
  • A judge, a government employee, or an employee of a corporation or other entity controlled or owned by the government.
  • Association or business that produces or broadcasts audio news, audio visual news, or current affairs programs over any electronic medium.
  • Any other individuals or organizations that the Central Government has expressly outlawed

What are the eligibility requirements for registration:

The Organization:

  • Registration is required (under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or Indian Trusts Act 1882 or section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 etc.)
  • Normally, it should have been around for at least three years.
  • has engaged in reasonable activities for the welfare of society in its field.
  • Over the last three years, it has spent at least Rs.10,00,000/- (Rs. ten lakh) on its operations.

What does it mean to act in the public interest:

  • The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) governs the receiving of funds from outside India by NGOs working in India.
  • Receiving foreign contributions “for any acts damaging to the national interest” is prohibited.
  • The Act stipulates that NGOs must obtain approval from the government before receiving foreign money.
  • The government has the authority to deny approval if it believes that the donation to the NGO will harm “public interest” or “state economic interests.”
  • This condition is clearly exaggerated. There is no clear definition of “public interest” under the law.

Foreign contribution is defined as:

  • It includes dollars, articles other than gifts for personal use, and securities received from a foreign source under the definition of “foreign contribution.”
  • Foreign hospitality, on the other hand, refers to any offer from an overseas source to cover the cost of foreign travel, boarding, accommodation, transportation, or medical treatment.

Source The Hindu

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