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30 NGOs got FCRA clearance

  • Published
    11th Jan, 2024

After 1,111 NGOs got FCRA nod in 2023, 30 get clearance in January. Registration under FCRA is mandatory to receive foreign donations. The NGO must have a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social Programme to get registered.

NGO works in the field of providing human rights, voters' rights, and healthcare to needy. They cover the multiple areas which also includes the preventing cruelty to animals.  NGOs can be funded by donations and grants.

Registration mechanism:

  • These organisations are not a part of the government. They are registered under the specific Act (Societies Registration Act, 1860 in India) of the government.
  • They may include Registered Societies formed for specific purposes, Charitable Organizations and Trusts, Local Stakeholders Groups, Microcredit and Thrift Enterprises, Self Help Groups, Professional Self-Regulatory Bodies, Cooperatives, Bodies without having any formal organizational structure Government promoted Third Sector Organizations.

Regulatory Oversight of NGOs:

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010

    • Foreign funding of voluntary organizations is implemented by Ministry of Home Affairs through FCRA act.
  • The acts mandate the organisation those are recipients of foreign contributions should adhere to the stated purpose for which such contribution has been obtained.
  • Act requires organisations to register themselves every five years.

Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999

It is an Act of the Parliament of India whose objectives includes consolidate and amend the law relating to foreign exchange with the objective of facilitating external trade and payments and for promoting the orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India . A transaction under FEMA is called a fee or a salary while the same under FCRA is called a grant or a contribution.

In 2016, the powers of Ministry of Finance to monitor NGOs were placed under the FEMA. Philosophy behind these changes ensures better monitoring and regulations. 

Key Achievements of NGOs

  1. Strengthen the child rights(CRY (Child Rights and You))
  2. Bringing social entrepreneurship and women Empowerment ( Goonj )
  3. reducing poverty and social injustice. (Care India)
  4. Increasing the Social audit Mechanism (Parham Report )

Issues with NGOs

  • Conflict with centuries old Traditions (Ban of Jallikattu, after the PIL by PETA )
  • Lack of self-Originating funds, dilutes the willingness of NGOs to speak out against the government.
  • Accreditation related Problem (Non state actor, bad intention )
  • NGOs have acted as a cover for organized crime in past and are often seen as fronts for fundamentalist causes.
  • Foreign funded NGOs have been responsible for organising agitations and scuttling development projects in India.

Way forward:

  • A Single National Authority Council consisting of academicians, activist, retired bureaucrats should be made to ensure compliance by NGOs.
  • Agile coordination between Ministries of Home Affairs and Finance in terms of monitoring and regulating illicit and unaccounted funds.
  • A Transparent regulatory mechanism to keep a watch on the financial activities of NGOs and voluntary organizations.
  • Citizens Led promotion to promote social justice, gender equity, inclusion etc.
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