New Delhi– FCRA licences – needed to receive funding from abroad – of over 12,000 NGOs and other organisations have expired, the Home Ministry said Saturday morning, days after it cited “adverse inputs” to refuse renewal of a licence for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
Of the 18,778 organisations whose Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act licences were due to expire between September 29, 2020, and December 31, 2021, 12,989 had applied for renewal.
5,789 – whose licenses expired yesterday – had not and their FCRA registrations lapsed overnight.
Ministry sources claimed none of the 5,789 had applied for the renewal of their licenses.
Ministry officials told New Delhi based NDTV that reminders had been sent to make the application before the deadline – Friday – but many had not done so. “How can permission be given…” an official asked.
The applications of 179 others, including Mother Teresa’s charity, have been rejected, and scrutiny of the other applications is ongoing, the Home Ministry said.
The list of NGOs now without a FCRA licence includes Oxfam India and the Oxfam India Trust, Jamia Milia Islamia, the Indian Medical Association, the Leprosy Mission, the Tuberculosis Association Of India, the Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts, and the India Islamic Cultural Centre.
Oxfam India and Oxfam India Trust are in the list of NGOs whose certificates have expired and not in those whose registrations have been cancelled.
Refusing FCRA clearance has been listed by critics of the government as its way of suppressing organisations whose work or officials are not considered supportive enough of the centre.
All of this comes after the Home Ministry cited “adverse inputs” to not renew the FCRA licence of the Missionaries of Charity, leaving the group – which operate orphanages and shelters for the poor, sick, and destitute across India – without access to foreign funds in over 250 accounts.
This was weeks after a police complaint was registered in Gujarat against the Director of a children’s home run by the Missionaries of Charity for allegedly attempting to convert young girls.
The Home Ministry also said it had not received a request to review its decision.
Mother Teresa’s charity confirmed their renewal had been rejected, and that “we have asked our centres not to operate any of the FC (foreign contributions) accounts until the matter is resolved”.
Controversy erupted after it emerged that accounts belonging to the Kolkata-headquartered charitable group, including those with the State Bank of India, had been frozen.
Opposition leaders, including Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, ripped into the government, particularly for ‘freezing’ the accounts on Christmas Day.
Father Dominic Gomes, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Calcutta, also hit out at what he said was a “dastardly attack on the Christian community”.
Refusing FCRA clearance has been listed by critics of the government as its way of suppressing organisations whose work or officials are not considered supportive enough of the centre. (With PTI inputs)
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