India

MHA restores the FCRA license for Missionaries of Charity, can again receive foreign funding

On January 7, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reinstated the FCRA registration of the Missionaries of Charity (MOC), the Catholic religious congregation established by Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa. FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) registration is required to receive foreign donations. The move comes just days after the ministry issued a statement that the MOC’s FCRA registration was not renewed because “some negative entries were detected.”

The registration was renewed, making the MOC eligible to receive and use foreign funds in its bank accounts even as the UK Parliament debated the issue, examining whether the UK government raised the issue of freezing foreign funds in the MOC and other NGOs with India. On January 7, the MOC was removed from the list of some 6,000 NGOs whose registration ceased to exist. The NGO with registration number 147120001 has been added to the list of 16,908 NGOs whose FCRA registration is active on January 7. 1,030 NGOs are eligible to receive foreign donations in West Bengal, and the MOC has been added to the list.

The registration of nearly 6,000 NGOs ceased to function on January 1 because the MA refused to renew their application or the NGOs did not request a renewal. The MA previously said in a statement that on December 25, the renewal of the MOC was denied for failing to meet eligibility requirements. He said his license was valid until October 31, but was extended to December 31 with other associations pending renewals. An MA official said on January 1 that the ministry had refused to renew FCRA registration for 179 NGOs, while 5,789 associations had not applied for renewals by the December 31 deadline. The deadline for NGOs that applied before December 31 and whose application was not rejected has been extended to March 31.

According to the 202021 annual financial statements filed by the NGO registered in Calcutta on December 13, the total balance of its foreign contribution bank account stood at 103.76 crore. It has over 250 bank accounts across the country to use foreign funds. The ministry said NGOs whose renewal applications were rejected will not be eligible to receive or use the foreign contribution to their designated bank accounts.

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