The Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act, 2010 has been used by the Bharatiya Janata Party government to curb the activities of unregistered NGOs which led to disruptions of all kinds in India. The money received by the NGOs was used mostly in anti-India activities and for conversions carried out by the church. The business of the NGOs was flowering at an unprecedented level before the much needed clampdown started by the Home Ministry. Home Minister Rajnath Singh played an active role in bringing these NGOs under control. He was instrumental as he pursued the case and saw through the execution part as well. On 1st June the ministry launched an online website which acts as a tool to monitor the flow of funds through organizations which fall under the Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act. According to the ministry this will enable lawmakers and bureaucrats to monitor funds and their usage.
Approximately 25,000 organisations are currently eligible to receive funds from the foreign donors after registration under the FCRA. Most of these organisations work under the pretext of promoting social, cultural, economic, educational and religious activities. But allegations have been made that the foreign funds are mostly used for religious expansion and conversion through disturbing and illegal means. There was an urgent need for providing a tool to keep track of the utilization of funds by these NGOs. The ministry statement reads, “It gives them capacity to take data-driven and evidence-based decisions regarding the compliance of the provisions of the FCRA, 2010. It has analytical features to conduct big data mining and data exploration. Its dashboard will be integrated with the bank accounts of the FCRA-registered entities through the Public Financial Management System for updation of transactional data on a real-time basis”.
In 2016-17 alone, the organisations under FCRA had received over Rs 18,000 crore of foreign funding. According to the release this figure is likely to go up in 2017-18 and in the years to follow. The online tool will help the government organisations in keeping track of the funds received by these NGOs. Later on as per the need these NGOs can be asked to provide details of the utilization of the funds received by them. An effective check system was always needed to monitor this largely non-governmental unregulated sector.
Congress and its allies had earlier failed to provide any solution to this which had resulted in the exponential growth in the number of these organisations functioning throughout India. Another faction which benefited heavily from these organisations was the Separatists and Naxalite forces. Ever since the BJP government came into power in the centre it had pushed forward with the intention to clampdown on such illegal activities. This online tool will bring in transparency in the system and a close watch can be kept on them. Rajnath Singh and the Home Ministry should be heavily praised for carrying out this much needed action. This is another feather in the cap for the splendid work done by Rajnath Singh and his ministry.