Center Tightens FCRA, Changes 7 Points in 2011 Rules; The MHA issues an advisory

The central government has made seven key changes to the existing rules of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2011 (FCRA) which seek to prohibit the acceptance and use of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality for any activity detrimental to the national interest.

The new rules, now renamed the Foreign Contribution Amendment Rules (Regulations), 2022, came into force on Friday July 1 with the publication of a notification by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and publication in the Official Gazette . The new rules are an amendment to the Foreign Contributions Rules (Regulations) 2011.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 48 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act 2010 (42 of 2010), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Rules ) of 2011. These rules may be referred to as the Foreign Contribution Amendment Rules (Regulations), 2022,” the notification reads.

In the new rules, there are about seven amendments.

Among these are two amendments to Rule 6 replacing the words “one lakh rupees” with the words “ten lakh rupees”; and the words “thirty days” with the words “three months”.

There is also an amendment to rule 9, in paragraph (1), in sub-paragraph (e), for the words “fifteen days”, the words “forty-five days” are replaced; and in subsection (2), paragraph (e), the words “fifteen days” are replaced by the words “forty-five days”.

Clause (b) of rule 13 has been omitted from the new rules; and in rule 17A, the words “fifteen days” are replaced by the words “forty-five days”.

The last amendment is made to Article 20, and it mentions that in the words “on clear paper”, the words “in such form and manner, including electronic form, as may be specified by the central government” are replaced.

The main rules were published on April 29, 2011, then modified on April 12, 2012; December 14, 2015; March 7, 2019; September 16, 2019; November 10, 2020 and January 11, 2021.

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 2010 (FCRA) consolidates law to regulate the acceptance and use of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals, associations or businesses and to prohibit the acceptance and the use of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality for any harmful activity. in the national interest and for matters related or incidental thereto.

The law extends to all of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside India. Branches or associated subsidiaries, outside India, of companies or juridical persons registered or incorporated in India must also follow the rules of the law.

The FCRA regulates foreign donations and ensures that such contributions do not harm homeland security. First adopted in 1976, it was amended in 2010 when a series of new measures were adopted to regulate foreign donations.

The FCRA applies to all associations, groups and NGOs that intend to receive foreign donations. It is mandatory for all such NGOs to register with the FCRA.

Registration is initially valid for five years and can be renewed later if it meets all standards. Registered associations may receive foreign contributions for social, educational, religious, economic and cultural purposes.

The filing of annual declarations, on the income tax model, is compulsory. In 2015, the MHA notified new rules, which required NGOs to undertake that the acceptance of foreign funds would not be likely to undermine the sovereignty and integrity of India or India. impact friendly relations with a foreign state and do not disturb community harmony. He also said that all such NGOs should operate accounts in nationalized or private banks that have basic banking facilities to allow security agencies real-time access.

Members of the legislature and political parties, government officials, judges and journalists are prohibited from receiving any foreign contributions.

The MHA, upon inspection of the accounts and upon receipt of any contribution adverse to the operation of an association, may suspend the FCRA registration initially for 180 days. Until a decision is made, the association cannot receive new donations and cannot use more than 25% of the amount available in the designated bank account without the authorization of the MHA. The MHA may cancel the registration of an organization that will not be eligible for registration or the granting of “prior authorization” for three years from the date of cancellation.

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