New Delhi: The Union ministry of home affairs on Tuesday informed Parliament that it has rejected the applications of 466 non-government organisations (NGOs) for renewal of their Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) licences since 2020 as they did not fulfil the eligibility criteria under law.
“The refusal of these applications was due to not fulfilling the eligibility criteria in accordance with the provisions of the FCRA, 2010 and rules made thereunder,” minister of state for home Nityanand Rai said in a written reply in Lok Sabha, adding that there were 100 refusals in 2020, 341 in 2021 and 25 so far this year.
Asked whether the government intends to review the registration guidelines, Rai said there are no such plans.
Nearly 5,800 organisations were made ineligible to receive foreign contributions on December 31, 2021 as they had not submitted their renewal applications within the stipulated deadline in accordance with the provisions of the Act, or because they had not followed the rules.
Among the key organisations whose FCRA licence renewal application was rejected was Oxfam India. UK government officials raised the refusal of the FCRA licence to the NGO during a bilateral meeting with Indian government representatives on February 10 this year.
The licences of at least 179 organisations were also cancelled at the end of 2021 for violating the law.
However, senior government officials said that in those cases where renewal applications were filed and a decision is pending, the existing FCRA registration certificates of the NGOs will be valid till June 30.
As on Tuesday, there were 16,816 organisations in the country eligible to receive foreign funding.
A political controversy broke out in December last year when the ministry of home affairs refused to renew the FCRA licence of Mother Teresa’s organisation Missionaries of Charity (MoC). The licence was later renewed.