On late Monday, the Lok Sabha passed the FCRA amendment bill which seeks to limit incoming foreign funds for NGOs and charitable institutions in India.
The FCRA Amendment Bill restricts NGOs from using more than 20% of foreign contributions on administrative expenses and debars any public servant from receiving any foreign funds.
It also makes SBI the only designated bank for receiving foreign funds. This will help the government in keeping track of the money incoming from foreign Nations to the NGOs.
The amendment also proposes that for any new FCRA registration or renewal of FCRA license, the Aadhar number of all office bearers or a copy of passport or OCI card in case of a foreigner will be mandatory.
While drawing the context of conversion by NGOs run by religious institutions in Northeast India, Shri S.P Singh Baghel of BJP said in Lok Sabha, “We know what happened in the north-east, how things changed there in the last 50 years and…a particular religion rose. There are Government and Intelligence reports about how insurgency increased there with money under FCRA.”
Imtiaz Jaleel of AIMIM, while debating on the bill in Rajya Sabha said that the bill is targeted against the Christian community. He said, “There is one community in this country that is doing human service as far as spreading education is concerned.
It is the Christian community in India. They are starting schools; they have so many convent schools across the country. I am also a student at a convent run school. I personally feel that this bill somewhere is trying to create hurdles for the smooth running of those schools. There is a hidden motive behind this bill to target certain individuals, certain organisations and definitely certain castes and communities.”
NGOs have already begun protesting this move by the Union Government and are asking the Government to send this bill to a parliamentary committee for required changes to be made.
However, the government looks firm in its stand to curb the illegal and wrong use of foreign funds, primarily to prevent its misuse for targetted religious conversion and funding for insurgency groups or for riot funding.