Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010
|Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010|
|Parliament of India|
|Enacted by||Rajya Sabha|
|Passed||19 August 2010|
|Enacted by||Lok Sabha|
|Passed||27 August 2010|
|Assented to||26 September 2010|
|Commenced||1 May 2011|
|Bill published on||18 December 2006|
|Committee report||Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs One hundred and thirty fourth report on The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Bill, 2006|
|The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020|
The Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act, 2010 is an act of the Parliament of India, by the 42nd Act of 2010. It is a consolidating act whose scope is to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies and to prohibit acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality for any activities detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It is designed to correct shortfalls in the predecessor act of 1976.
It received presidential assent on 26 September 2010.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah introduced the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020. The bill sought several changes in the existing Act. It sought to make it mandatory for office bearers of any NGO to provide their Aadhaar numbers. It also grants the government powers to stop utilisation of foreign funds by an organisation through a "summary enquiry". The bill aims at strengthening the compliance mechanism and enhancing transparency and accountability in receiving and utilisation of foreign contributions and facilitating genuine non-governmental organisations or associations who are working for the welfare of the society.
A number of NGOs receiving foreign funding are seen by the India's central government as involved in anti-development activism and hence posing a negative impact on the economic growth by two to three per cent. An Intelligence Bureau report titled 'Impact of NGOs on Development,’ claims the NGOs and their international donors are also planning to target many fresh economic development projects.
Home ministry has cancelled some more registrations including top 8 national educational institutions such as –Jawaharlal Nehru University, IIT-Kanpur and Jamia Milia Islamia saying that these institutes are not maintaining proper FCRA account. So, unless their registrations are restored, these institutions cannot receive contributions from abroad.Later the FCRA status of Jamia Milia Islamia was restored in September 2012 following the submission of its report to the government. The Ministry of Home Affairs has since clarified that Jamia is exempt from all provisions of the FCRA and therefore there is no bar on Jamia to receive/spend foreign contributions.
The Union Home Ministry has cancelled renewal of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences of Greenpeace India and two NGOs run by activist Teesta Setalvad who is an Indian civil rights activist and journalist. Greenpeace has been charged with obstructing development activities in India by the Government of India in 2013 (Under congress led UPA government) after intelligence Bureau inputs. Greenpeace India is charged with undertaking protests against thermal power, nuclear power, coal and aluminium mining across the India. GreenPeace has also been charged with promoting Solar energy equipment of US based Zemlin Surface Optical Corporation especially in Bihar. Greenpeace India admitted to anchoring local protests against coal mines and participating in seminars where foreign funding is sought for protests but clarified that the source of funding does not lessen the seriousness of harm to the environment. According to IB (Intelligence Bureau) report, Greenpeace poses threat to national economic security, growing exponentially in reach, impact, volunteers and media influence.
Teesta Setalvad is the secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), an organisation which lays its agenda as fighting for justice for the victims of communal violence in the state of Gujarat in 2002. CJP is a co-petitioner seeking a criminal trial of Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat and the current Prime minister of India, and sixty-two other politicians and government officials for complicity in the Gujarat violence of 2002 and whose names did not figure in any of the FIRs /charge sheets that formed the subject matter of the various Session Trials regarding the riots at that point of time. However, the actions against Greenpeace were initiated in 2013 based on a report issued by IB during UPA rule led by Congress party which is an arch political rival of Narendra Modi.
In September 2015, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) cancelled the FCRA registration of Greenpeace India, making impossible any foreign donation to Greenpeace India. The measure was said to have been executed on the grounds of "prejudicially affecting the public interest and economic interest of the state".
Recently, another NGO Compassion International had to shut down India operations after the government refused permission to accept foreign funding. Earlier, Compassion International was put on the "watch list" by the Home Ministry amid reports by security agencies that it was funding unregistered Indian NGOs which were accused of encouraging religious conversions. The Obama administration as well as the Trump administration pursued the case in the highest level amid the risk of a diplomatic tussle.
At the 2017 "peer review" by the UN Human Rights Council held at Geneva, Indian government faced tough questioning by fellow nations. The attack on the FCRA act came from nearly a dozen countries, mostly from Europe. The charge was led by the U.S. and Germany, who called the Act and the government's actions "arbitrary".
On September 29, human rights watchdog Amnesty International declared that it was wrapping up its Indian operations and shutting offices due to a 'complete freeze' on its finances by the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government after the FCRA was amended earlier that month.
- FCRA 2013
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