Centre extends validity of FCRA registration of NGOs till March 31 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Centre extends validity of FCRA registration of NGOs till March 31

By, New Delhi
Dec 31, 2021 10:18 PM IST

The relief, however, will not be extended to organisations such as Missionaries of Charity (MoS), as their applications for a renewal of FCRA have already been rejected, the home ministry said.

The ministry of home affairs on Friday extended the validity of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of non-government organisations (NGOs) by three months till March 31.

The Centre has extended the validity of FCRA registration of NGOs by three months till March 31. (ANI)
The Centre has extended the validity of FCRA registration of NGOs by three months till March 31. (ANI)

The validity was slated to expire on December 31.

The relief, however, will not be extended to organisations such as Missionaries of Charity (MoC), as their applications for a renewal of FCRA have already been rejected, the ministry said.

Also Read | Mother Teresa's charity denies bank account freeze after Mamata blames Centre

“The Centre, in public interest, has decided to extend the validity of the FCRA registration certificates of NGOs up to March 31, 2022 or till the date of disposal of their renewal applications, whichever is earlier, in respect of only those entities that fulfill certain criteria,” the notice by the ministry said.

The NGOs with FCRA registration certificates expiring between September 29, 2020 and March 31, 2022 and that have applied for renewal on the FCRA portal before the expiry of the certificates, in accordance with rule 12 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011, are eligible for the benefits.

“All FCRA registered associations are therefore advised to take note of the fact that in case of refusal of the application for renewal of certificate of registration, the validity of the certificate shall be deemed to have expired on the date of refusal of the application of renewal and the association shall not be eligible either to receive foreign contribution or utilise the foreign contribution received,” the notice said.

According to the ministry, a total of 22,762 NGOs are registered under the FCRA and the renewal applications of about 6,500 have so far been processed.

The NGOs that have valid registration certificates under the FCRA are eligible to receive funding from abroad.

Earlier this week, a political controversy broke out over the Centre’s decision, taken on December 25, to not renew the FCRA licence of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity (MoC) with Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressing shock, and the Union government clarifying its stand.

Also Read | Missionaries of Charity’s troubles continue

The Missionaries of Charity is a Catholic religious congregation established in 1950 by Mother Teresa.

The row began when Banerjee alleged that bank accounts of Mother Teresa’s foundation were frozen by the central government, a claim instantly denied by the ministry.

The Union government issued a statement saying the request to freeze Missionaries of Charity accounts was made by the foundation itself to the State Bank of India. It acknowledged, however, that the renewal of FCRA registration of MoC was refused on December 25, citing “adverse inputs”, and that it has not yet applied for a review.

The registration of Missionaries of Charity, under FCRA vide Registration No 147120001, was valid up to October 31, 2021, according to the ministry. It added that the validity was subsequently extended to December 31, 2021, along with other FCRA associations whose renewal applications were pending renewal.

The organisation also, in a statement, clarified “that the FCRA registration has neither been suspended nor cancelled. Further there is no freeze ordered by the ministry of home affairs on any of our bank accounts”. “We have been informed that our FCRA renewal application has not been approved. Therefore, as a measure to ensure there is no lapse, we have asked our centres not to operate any of the FC accounts until the matter is resolved,” it said.

The government amended the FCRA in September 2020 to make the law stricter. A new provision in the law mandated that non-government organisations receiving foreign funding will have to operate bank accounts in State Bank of India in New Delhi only.

On Thursday, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik directed all district collectors to ensure that no unit of the Missionaries of Charity operating in the state faces any financial crisis and, if necessary, to use the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to help them.

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