Modi Government started the new year with a bang, as it has canceled the FCRA license of more than 12,000 NGOs or other organizations including notorious Oxfam and Jamia.
As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, there were 18,778 organizations whose Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act licenses were due to expire between September 29, 2020, and December 31, 2021, 12,989 had applied for renewal. 5,789 – whose licenses expired midnight Friday – had not and their registrations lapsed.
Ministry claimed none of these organizations had applied for the renewal of their licenses. Ministry officials stated that several reminders had been sent to make the application before the deadline, but many had not done so. That’s the reason the Government has withdrawn the permission for foreign funding.
The applications of 179 other organizations including Mother Teresa’s missionaries of charity have been rejected, and scrutiny of the other applications is ongoing. The list of NGOs now without an FCRA license includes Jamia Milia Islamia, Oxfam India, and the Oxfam India Trust, the Leprosy Mission, the Indian Medical Association, the Tuberculosis Association Of India, the Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts, and the India Islamic Cultural Centre.
Oxfam India and Oxfam India Trust are on the list of NGOs whose certificates have expired and not in those whose registrations have been canceled. Refusing FCRA clearance has been listed by critics of the government as its way of suppressing organizations whose work or officials are not considered supportive enough of the center.
All of this comes after the Home Ministry cited “adverse inputs” to not renew the FCRA license of the Missionaries of Charity, leaving the group – which operates orphanages and shelters for the poor, sick, and destitute across India – without access to foreign funds in over 250 accounts.
What is an FCRA License?
An FCRa license is a mandatory requirement for an NGO or other organizations to receive funds from foreign entities. As per the Government norms, NGOs must produce necessary information for compliance purposes and in event of not producing such information, the FCRA license of an organization could be canceled, that bar such organizations to take funding from abroad.