Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA)

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Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA)

  • Recently the Union Home Ministry has released a list of international organizations (including UN bodies) whose contributions will not be covered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA).
  • FCRA regulates the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution by individuals, associations and companies.

Recent amendments made in FCRA:

  • Submission of Aadhaar number has been made mandatory for registration.
  • All foreign contributions shall be received only in a bank account opened with State Bank of India Main Branch (New Delhi).
  • Certain persons are prohibited from accepting any foreign contribution.

This includes the following persons:

  • Candidate contesting election, editor or publisher of any newspaper, judge, government employee, member of any legislature and political party etc.

About Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act

  • The FCRA was enacted in 1976 during the Emergency in response to apprehensions that foreign powers were interfering in India’s internal affairs by channeling funds through independent organisations.
  • The law sought to regulate foreign donations to individuals and associations so that they could act “consistent with the values of a sovereign democratic republic”.

Objective:

  • Every person or NGO desirous of receiving foreign donations is required to register under the Act, open a bank account for receipt of foreign funds and use those funds only for the purpose for which they have been received, as that is prescribed in the Act.
  • The Act prohibits candidates for elections, journalists or newspapers and media broadcasting companies, judges and public servants, members of legislatures and political parties or their office-bearers, and organizations of a political nature from receiving foreign funds.

Amendment:

  • It was amended in the year 2010 to “strengthen the law” on the use of foreign funds and to “restrict” their use for “any activity prejudicial to the national interest”.
  • The law was again amended by the present government in the year 2020, giving the government the power to strictly control and check the receipt and use of foreign funds by NGOs.

Source – The Hindu

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