UK raised Oxfam FCRA refusal issue with us: Govt

In an official admission, the government on Tuesday told Lok Sabha that in a bilateral meeting, the UK had raised the issue of refusal of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) renewal to Oxfam India with Delhi.

“Government of United Kingdom (UK) raised the issue of status of Oxfam India under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA, 2010) during the bilateral dialogue held on 10 February, 2022. Status of Oxfam India was shared with the UK side during the dialogue,” MoS Home Nityanand Rai told Lok Sabha in a written reply to a question.

Giving reasons for the refusal, Rai said, “The renewal application of Oxfam India was refused as it did not fulfil the eligibility criteria specified in the FCRA, 2010 and rules made thereunder. Oxfam India has filed an application for revision of refusal order under Section 32 of the FCRA, 2010. The registration, renewal and cancellation of registration is done based on the criteria specified in the FCRA, 2010 and Rules made thereunder.”

At midnight on December 31, 2021, the FCRA registration of Oxfam India along with 5,932 other NGOs lapsed. MHA sources said while 5,789 of these NGOs had not applied for renewal, the applications of the rest had been rejected due to “various irregularities”. Oxfam India and Indian Medical Association (IMA) were among such NGOs.

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A day after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had refused to renew the registration of Oxfam India, the organisation had said the action would hamper its humanitarian work in 16 states.

“The Government of India’s decision to refuse renewal of Oxfam India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration will severely affect the organisation’s ongoing crucial humanitarian and social work in 16 states across the country. This includes setting up of oxygen plants, providing lifesaving medical and diagnostic equipment such as oxygen cylinders and ventilators and delivery of food to the most vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Oxfam had said in a statement.

In reply to another question, Rai informed the house that a total of 1,811 certificates have been cancelled during preceeding three years (2019, 2020, 2021).

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