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Centre excludes 117 international agencies from FCRA ambit; can contribute funds unhindered

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NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry has released a list of 117 United Nations bodies and other international organisations whose contribution to Indian entities will not be covered under the stringent Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, officials said.

Indian organisations receiving foreign funds are mandatorily registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and they must have a special account at a designated branch of the State Bank of India in New Delhi.

According to a home ministry document, the UN agencies and other international bodies and organisations "to be not covered" by the definition of "foreign source" under the FCRA include the UN System's Secretariat, Office of Internal Oversight Services, Department of Political Affairs, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Department for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services.

The United Nations Office at Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Geneva, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Geneva, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), New York, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNClAD), Geneva were also not covered under the FCRA.

The UNICEF, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations International Drug Control Programme, United Nations Population Fund, World Food Programme, Rome, Economic Commission for Europe, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Economic Commission for Western Asia were also excluded by the FCRA ambit.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva, Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Geneva, Global Environment Facility, Washington, International Labour Organisation, Food and Agriculture Organisation, UNESCO, World Health Organisation will also not be covered under the FCRA.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Monetary Fund, International Finance Corporation, International Rice Research Institute, Manila, International Potato Centre, Peru, Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Vienna, International Solar Alliance were also part of the 117 organisations which were excluded from the ambit of the FCRA.

Since the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, rules related to the FCRA have been tightened. The government has also cancelled the FCRA registration of nearly 2,000 NGOs for violating various provisions of the law in the last few years.

There were 22,762 FCRA-registered organisations till December-end 2021. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

63 Days ago