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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

MHA extends FCRA registration of NGOs till March 2022

This comes days after on December 25 the MHA refused to approve the renewal application of Missionaries of Charity, an NGO founded by Mother Teresa.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 31, 2021 2:43:12 pm
MHA, FCRA, NGOs, India news, Indian express, Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, Indian express news, current affairsThe Missionaries of Charity was founded by Mother Teresa on October 7, 1950. (Express Photo/File)

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Friday extended the validity of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of NGOs expiring between September 29, 2020 and March 31, 2022 till March 31, 2022. Earlier, an extension was granted only till December 31 this year.

“The Central Government, in public interest, has decided to extend the validity of FCRA registration certificates up to 31st March, 2022 or till the date of disposal of the renewal application, whichever is earlier,” a notification by the MHA said Friday.

This comes days after on December 25 the MHA refused to approve the renewal application of Missionaries of Charity, an NGO founded by Mother Teresa.

It said it refused the renewal on the basis of certain “adverse inputs”. The NGO’s registration expired on October 31 and it had applied for a renewal. Following the refusal from MHA, the NGO instructed all its centres not to operate foreign contribution bank accounts of the NGO.

The extension of the deadline from the MHA also follows multiple petitions by NGOs in various courts that poor implementation of the amended FCRA had tied their hands in the middle of a pandemic.

However, renewal of only such NGOs will be approved who fulfil certain criteria, the MHA said.

According to the ministry, entities should apply for renewal on the FCRA portal before expiry of the certificate of registration in accordance with rule 12 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011.

“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 the foreign contribution or utilise the foreign contribution received,” the MHA notification said.

The amended FCRA had made it mandatory for all NGOs receiving foreign aid to open an account in State Bank of India’s (SBI) New Delhi Branch. However, the process was hampered by delays from the MHA in granting necessary approvals owing to the foreigner’s division of the ministry being short-staffed. “Renewal applications of even such NGOs which had opened an SBI account has been delayed because of this reason,” sources said.

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