Modi government has continued its ongoing crack down on illegal funding of NGOs. According to media reports, Ministry of Home Affairs has cancelled license of more than 150 NGOs for 6 months for violation of norms of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The NGOs were supposed to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks in order to integrate their systems with Public Financial Management System (PFMS).
After the cancellation of FCRA registration, these NGOs won’t be able to receive any foreign funding. The government took this step in order to check shady financial dealings in which multiple NGOs were found to be involved. According to the media reports, a large number of these NGOs were operational in Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala and Maharashtra.
Since coming to power, Modi government was very clear that violation in FCRA norms would not be tolerated. In the last few years, the government has taken steps to curb the illegal foreign funding of NGOs and have suspended license or has revoked them altogether for violation of regulations.
In its order, the MHA referred to “A show cause notice served on 29 June, 2018, to explain in 15 days as to why appropriate action against their associations may not be taken as per the provisions of the FCRA, 2010, for not complying with the government’s direction issued under section 46 of the Act.”
The central government have suspended their license claiming, “Neither given any reply nor opened their bank accounts”, as mandated under section 17 of the FCRA, 2010, in PFMS-integrated banks for higher level of transparency. Furthermore, the order added that the Central government “hereby suspends the FCRA registration for 180 day.”
In 2015, the government had made some changes in Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules (FCRR), 2015. The amendments empowered the government to obtain instant details of any foreign fund exchange.
The home ministry officials told that the banks were to report to the Central government “within 48 hours any such transaction in respect to receipt of utilization of any foreign contribution,” as per the amendments.
Were we can found out #NGOs funding from(2011-18) in very transparent way.
Now adv Vimalraj gone through it & found out #Nithyanandjayaraman
Illegal funds from foreign countries.
Funds will need to be backlisted and shld file case on him about under #FCRA pic.twitter.com/ohBaV15JF5
— MODIfied Indian (@ModifiedTamilan) November 26, 2018
The NGOs whose license were suspended include Islamic foundations and missionary groups like St Mary’s Convent in Wayanad and Ansarul Islam Charitable Trust in Malappuram, Mother Teresa Weaker Section Development Welfare Society in Andhra Pradesh, Yogi Ji Seva Sansthan in Bihar and Social Education Vision of Awareness (SEVA), Odisha.
The latest action by the government comes on the heels of ED’s raid against the Amnesty India. Amnesty India is known for anti-India stance on several issues and particularly on the issue of terrorism in Kashmir. The NGO came under the radar of Enforcement Directorate (ED) in October, 2018. The raids were conducted at the office of the Amnesty India in Bengaluru. They were unnecessarily and excessively critical of the Indian forces deployed in the valley and leave no opportunity of trying to peddle anti-India propaganda in the name of human rights before the rest of the world.
The way ED and Home Ministry have taken strict action against these NGOs show that the government is going to take down FCRA violators irrespective of the status, position and influence of the violator.