Ensure opening of FCRA accounts within 10 days of approval: HC

Plea says SBI was delaying process

Updated - May 20, 2021 11:22 pm IST

Published - May 20, 2021 11:21 pm IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the State Bank of India (SBI) to ensure it opens Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) accounts for NGOs within 10 days of receiving approval from the Central government.

Justice Rekha Palli gave the direction after some NGOs claimed that despite receiving the approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), SBI was delaying opening of accounts under FCRA.

Significantly, the Centre informed the High Court that it has extended till June 30 the deadline for NGOs to open FCRA accounts at SBI’s New Delhi main branch. “After that date they shall not be eligible to receive Foreign Contribution (FC) in any account other than the ‘FCRA account’ opened in the SBI’s New Delhi Main Branch,” the Home Ministry said.

Validity extension

The Ministry also said it has decided to extend the validity of registration certificates issued to the NGOs which expired or would expire between September 29, 2020 and September 30, 2021 up to September 30, 2021.

The Ministry’s affidavit came in response to a petition filed by two NGOs operating out of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, who claimed that they are facing difficulty both in the opening of the FCRA account, and also in the subsequent approval which is to be obtained from the Ministry.

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