A bill that seeks to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), under which providing the Aadhar numbers of the office-bearers of any NGO will be mandatory for registration and public servants will be barred from receiving funds from abroad, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Sunday.
The Foreign Contribution Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020, introduced in the Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, also proposes to enable the Centre to allow an NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate.
Introducing the bill, Rai said, “There would be no discrimination. The permission which was given earlier to religious institutions for foreign contributions under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 will continue. But these institutions should not deviate from their objective and not be a threat to the country’s security.”
The draft bill proposes that not more than 20 per cent of the total foreign funds received could be spent on administrative expenses. Presently, the limit is 50 per cent. Manish Tewari of the Congress objected to the bill and made a request to the government to relax the provisions of the FCRA.
Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) also opposed the bill, saying it is an attempt to stop foreign contributions. “The idea should be to deregulate and not over-regulate foreign contributions,” he said.