The not-for-profit sector may not be the only one hit by the government’s efforts to put foreign funding under the lens. Individuals who receive money from relatives abroad too would have to scrupulously keep the Centre posted about the receipt of foreign funds or run the risk of falling foul of the law.
The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act requires people who receive over Rs 1 lakh from relatives who are not Indian citizens to inform the government about receipt of the money. But most people do not comply with this provision.
With the home ministry proposing to order banks to inform the Centre every time they debit or credit a bank account with foreign funds, a government official said it would be easy to identify people who do not report the transaction within the stipulated 30 days.
The proposed rules require NGOs to pledge the money won’t be used for activities that are against national, public, or economic interest.
“The government should first tell us if firms that bring in foreign direct investment are also required to give a similar declaration,” asked Harsh Jaitli, CEO of Voluntary Action Network India, a body of voluntary organisations.