Nearly 20,000 NGOs lost their FCRA licence since May 2014, when the BJP-led NDA government came to power at the Centre, Home Minister Rajnath Singh was informed on Tuesday. Of these 20,000 NGOs, FCRA licences of over 9,500 NGOs were cancelled in 2015 and the rest did not apply for renewal after their licence lapsed in November this year.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) received nearly 3,000 applications from NGOs for fresh Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences this year, Singh was told during a review meeting, officials said.
The officials added that “expiry” of licence technically meant cancellation and the NGOs could no longer receive foreign funds. However, they have been given time till February 2017 to submit fresh applications.
Among the 13,000 NGOs with valid FCRA licence, around 3,000 have submitted applications for renewal. According to the MHA, there are close to 300 NGOs that are at present under prior permission category but not registered under the FCRA. This means that they need the MHA’s nod whenever they want to receive foreign funds.
FCRA licences of 16 NGOs were renewed by the MHA under the “automatic” routes, 14 NGOs have been put under the prior permission category while papers of two NGOs are under examination, officials said. FCRA licence is given for five years.