Government shuts foreign fund tap of 20K – or over half of all – NGOs

With cancellation of FCRA licences, only 13,000 organisations can accept aid from funding agencies abroad.

Published: 28th December 2016 01:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th December 2016 04:53 AM   |  A+A-


Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences, which allow private organisations to receive funds from abroad, of about 20,000 NGOs have been cancelled by the Centre after they were allegedly found violating various provisions of the Act.

With the cancellation, only 13,000 NGOs now have valid FCRA licences. The details were conveyed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday during a review of the Foreigners Division that handles the FCRA wing, official sources said.

Among the 13,000 NGOs with valid FCRA licences, about 3,000 such voluntary organisations have submitted applications for renewal and another 2,000 have applied for fresh licences, the sources added.

And three hundred NGOs are currently under the prior permission category but not registered under the FCRA, implying that each foreign grant to such entities will have to be vetted by the home ministry before receipt.

The FCRA licences of about 16 NGOs were renewed by the ministry under the “automatic” route and all the cases were reviewed thoroughly after which 14 NGOs were put under the prior permission category and the remaining two cases are still being reviewed.

The review exercise for the working of the NGOs has initiated over a year ago and the process is still continuing. The move to review the functioning of the NGOs was undertaken following intelligence inputs that a number of NGOs were misusing foreign funds.

Rajnath also reviewed the functioning of the police division of his ministry. The minister was informed by the senior CRPF officers that the paramilitary force was for the first time raising an exclusive, composite tribal battalion -- Bastariya Battalion -- called by recruiting male and female tribal youths from the south Bastar, a Maoism-affected region of Chhattisgarh.

The recruitment process is going on and is likely to be completed by mid of January 2017. The recruits will be joining for basic training in April 2017. This is also the first recruitment process where the CRPF has implemented 33 percent women’s quota at the constable level.

The officials further apprised the minister of the steps initiated to promote cashless transactions among the personnel of the CRPF and other paramilitary forces such as BSF, SSB, ITBP, CISF, NSG and the Assam Rifles.

On his part, Rajnath advised the paramilitary chiefs to organise workshops to apprise all personnel and their families about the benefits and different models of cashless transactions.


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