The Ministry of Home Affairs has made a drastic decision that lets the NGOs extend the validity of their Registration Certificates under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). All the RCs expiring between 29 September 2020 and 31 May 2021 can make use of the extension facility. It is now compulsory for all the NGOs that receive foreign funding to get themselves registered with the FCRA. This decision by The Ministry of Home Affairs is expected to favor the NGOs whose registrations had expired by September 29 last year.
The Ministry of Home Affairs also announced that the NGOs must administer the FCRA and section 12(6) of the act that says that the certificate provided will only be valid for a period of five years from the date of issue. The renewal of the certificate is necessary and should be done timely to avoid any legal actions.
This act went through an amendment last year and the amended law was put to notice on 29 September 2020. Following the amended law, it is now of utmost importance that the NGOs getting registered under FCRA submit their Aadhaar number. All these NGOs need to upload the Aadhar details of the office bearer of the NGO for successful registration. Alongside the amendments, the office expenses were also brought down to 20 percent from the preexisting 50 percent expenditure. The amendment also stated that election candidates, political parties, members of any legislature, and government servants under no circumstance can accept foreign funding. It is also under the rules that NGOs that wish to receive foreign funding must be in action for at least three years and should’ve spent a minimum of Rs. 15 lakh in voluntary activities before applying for receiving foreign funds.
Our country holds a count of about 22,400 NGOs. Under FCRA, more than Rs. 58,000 crore was received by the NGOs as foreign funding between the years 2016-17 and 2018-19. The NGOs receiving these foreign fundings need to submit a commitment letter issued from the donor noting the amount of money and the purpose for which the funding is made.