A.R. Rahman Foundation among more than 20 NGOs that get Union Home Ministry nod

Photo: Facebook/@ARRFoundation  

The Union government has granted Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence to more than 20 NGOs this year and it includes the A.R. Rahman Foundation, run by the Academy award-winning composer and his family.

Any NGO or association that intends to receive foreign funds has to compulsorily register under the FCRA, monitored by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

After the Modi government came to power in 2014, the FCRA licences of more than 16,000 NGOs were cancelled on account of various violations.

The Rahman Foundation had run into trouble with the authorities when it allegedly received money from a U.K based mobile phone company in 2015. The income tax authorities had accused Mr. Rahman of evading tax and getting the money transferred to a bank account linked to the Trust that was not registered under the FCRA. Mr. Rahman and his auditor had contested the claims.

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As per the MHA, the Foundation had been registered for “cultural, social and educational” purposes under the FCRA.

According to the 2010 Act, registered NGOs can receive foreign contribution for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic and cultural.

A.R. Rahman Foundation among more than 20 NGOs that get Union Home Ministry nod

This year, only one NGO — Madrasa Muhammadiyah Baccho ka Ghar — based at Vadodara has been registered under the “Religious (Muslim), Cultural, Educational” category.

A total of 21 other associations were also registered under the FCRA this year, most in the “social and economic” category. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the number of new FCRA registrations stood at 1012, 521 and 683.

The MHA had informed Parliament last year that more than 5,804 NGOs were registered for “religious purpose” under the Act.

In all, there are 22,497 NGOs registered under the FCRA and licences of 20,674 NGOs were cancelled from 2012 onward, out of which 10,002 were cancelled in 2015 alone.

Before 2011, the number of FCRA registrations stood at 40,376.

In a notification issued last year, the MHA warned NGOs with penal action if they changed their office-bearers and key functionaries without informing it within a month of doing so.

The Ministry also amended the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 in September 2019 that all the members and office bearers of an NGO will have to file an affidavit making it mandatory for it to report “any violation” of the FCRA provisions by the applicant organisation.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 11:23:51 PM |

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