PM CARES: Entitled to give any non-political organisation FCRA exemption, says Home Ministry

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The Home Ministry has clarified that it has the power to exempt in the public interest “any person or association or organisation” not being a political party or a candidate for election from the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.

The clarification came in response to a report in these columns on Saturday that was headlined “Questions over FCRA nod for PM CARES”.

According to the Ministry, Parliament had given powers to exempt any association or organisation, not being a political party, from receiving contributions under the FCRA.

Using these powers, the Centre had issued an order in June 2011 under which the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was exempted from all FCRA provisions. Similarly, the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was granted exemption through a Central government order dated March 28, 2020.

Six other organisations, including the Overseas India Development Foundation and Bharat Ke Veer, have been extended similar FCRA exemptions.

“Vide gazette notification dated 1st July, 2011, the Central government has also exempted all such entities which were created by a Central Act or a State Act and also compulsorily audited by CAG [Comptroller &Auditor General] from all provisions of the FCRA,” the clarification said.

This exemption category was “further expanded” by a January 30, 2020, gazette notification that exempted entities created by Central or State government orders or any entity “fully controlled and owned” by the Central or State governments from FCRA requirements and audit by the CAG.

The clarification said under the July 1, 2011, and January 30, 2020, notifications “no separate exemption orders are issued by the Central government”.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:20:09 PM |

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