The government, on Wednesday, said that it has cancelled the FCRA licence of close to 20,000 of the 33,000 NGOs operating in the country after they were found to be flouting certain norms laid out in the Foreign Contributions Registrations Act, 2010.
The FCRA or Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 is nothing but a regulatory act formed to keep a check on civil society bodies that may be receiving foreign funds in an illegal manner. Therefore, the cancellation of an FCRA licence means that the NGOs in question can no longer take funds from a foreign contributor but they can continue to work on donations given by Indian companies and individuals.
Home Ministry officials said after cancellation of the FCRA licences of around 20,000 NGOs, only 13,000 NGOs in the country are legally valid now to receive foreign funds.
The exercise of reviewing the working of the NGOs was started about a year ago and the process is still continuing, official sources said.
Among the 13,000 valid NGOs, around 3,000 have submitted applications for renewal while Ministry of Home Affairs received 2,000 new applications for registration under the FCRA for the first time.
An additional 300 NGOs are currently under prior permission category but not registered under the FCRA. This means that although these NGOs don't hold a FCRA licence, they can accept funds from foreign sources by taking prior permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The FCRA licences of around 16 NGOs were renewed by the Home Ministry under the "automatic" route and all the cases were reviewed thoroughly and except in two cases, 14 NGOs have been put under the prior permission category, while papers of two other NGOs are under examination.
As per FCRA, if an NGO is put under prior permission category, it is barred to receive foreign funding from abroad without taking permission from the Home Ministry.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Dec 28, 2016 19:12:30 IST