FCRA registration of MoC, PHFI restored: Govt to Lok Sabha

The government on Tuesday told Lok Sabha it had renewed the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of two NGOs since November last year even as it it had refused registration renewal of 6000 NGOs claiming that 5,800 of them did not apply.

The NGOs whose revoked registration was renewed included Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), New Delhi and Missionaries of Charity (MoC), Kolkata. While PHFIs FCRA registration had been cancelled in 2017 for FCRA violations, MoC’s registration was refused renewal based on “adverse inputs” on December 25 last year.

PHFI, which received funds from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was in 2017 served a home ministry notice for violation of FCRA norms in carrying out its advocacy work against tobacco. The alleged violations included lobbying with MPs and the media against tobacco. The ministry also alleged that PHFI had opened accounts it didn’t disclose, misreported foreign donations and transferred money abroad without alerting the government.

The NGO aimed to strengthen training, research and policy development in public health and was launched in 2006 by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and provided assistance to Central and State Governments in several areas ranging from HIV prevention, access to drugs, tobacco control etc.

MoC was founded by Mother Teresa and has been accused by BJP MPs and the Sangh Parivar of engaging in religious conversion.

“Since November, 2021 the FCRA certificate of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), New Delhi and Missionaries of Charity (MoC), Kolkata was renewed by way of revision,” MoS Home Nityanand Rai told Lok Sabha in a written reply to a question.

“Section 32 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 provides for revision by the Central Government of any order passed in a proceeding against any association registered under the Act. The application for revision is considered and disposed of on merits under the above provision of the Act,” he added.

On the question of whether the Government has denied renewal of licences to about 6,000 organisations, Rai said, “No, Sir. In fact, about 5800 FCRA registered associations had not submitted their applications for renewal within stipulated time in accordance with the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. FCRA registration of these associations has thus deemed to have ceased as per section 12 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 read with rule 12 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011. In view of Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has given certain relaxations to NGOs so that welfare programmes and Covid related relief works are not affected.”

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