Since the NDA government came to power in May 2014, the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licenses of at least 20,000 NGOs were cancelled by the Home Ministry, a senior Ministry official said on Tuesday.
Of these 20,000 NGOs, the FCRA licenses of over 9,500 NGOs were cancelled in 2015. As reported by The Hindu on November 4, the licenses of another 11,000 NGOs expired as they failed to apply for renewal in time.
A senior home ministry official said “expiry” technically meant cancellation and the NGOs could no longer receive foreign funds but they have been given time till February 2017 to send in fresh applications.
Despite the crackdown, in the past one year, the Home Ministry received applications for fresh FCRA licenses from 3,000 NGOs.
The figures were shared at a review meet chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday. In a detailed presentation, Mr. Singh was informed that after the cancellation of FCRA licences of around 20,000 NGOs, only 13,000 NGOs were eligible to receive foreign funds.
Among the 13,000 valid NGOs, around 3,000 have submitted applications for renewal. In addition to this, 300 NGOs are currently under prior permission category but are not registered under the FCRA, which means they need the Ministry’s nod whenever they want to receive foreign funds.
FCRA licences of 16 NGOs were renewed by the Home Ministry under the “automatic” route and all the cases were reviewed thoroughly — except in two cases — 14 NGOs have been put under the prior permission category while papers of the two NGOs are under examination.
Since the FCRA license is given for five years, this year all the NGOs had to apply for a renewal and the last date was March 31. The last time, such exercise was done in 2011 after the FCRA Act was amended in 2010.