Odisha sanctions ₹79 lakh to assist Missionaries of Charity
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has sanctioned ₹79 lakh from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund (CMRF) as assistance to the Missionaries of Charity (MoC), his office said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has sanctioned ₹78.76 lakh from the CMRF to support 13 institutions run by the Missionaries of Charity in the state,” the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said, according to news agency ANI.
Patnaik's office also noted that the assistance was for MoC institutions across eight districts of the state. “More than 900 leprosariums and orphanages in the will benefit from this decision,” it further said.
The announcement comes nearly a week after Patnaik, on December 30 last year, directed district collectors in the eastern state to use money from the relief fund to arrange for food and treatment of inmates and leprosy homes run by the Kolkata-based organisation, in Odisha.
The directive was made in the wake of controversy over the Union home ministry ‘freezing’ all bank accounts of the Mother Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity, as alleged by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on December 27.
However, countering Banerjee's charge, the home ministry clarified that it did not freeze any account, adding that the State Bank of India (SBI) informed that the charity itself requested the SBI to block its accounts.
Offering further clarification, the Missionaries said, “We would like to clarify that our FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) 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.”
The home ministry announced on January 1 that a total of 6000 bodies have been taken off the list of registrated organisations under the FCRA. Among these, 5789 organsations didn't apply for renewal of license, while that of 179 others was cancelled for violation of the act, the ministry elaborated.