FOREIGN CONTRIBUTION (REGULATION) AMENDENT BILL was passed by Lok Sabha on 20th September and by Rajya Sabha on 23rd September by a voice vote following discussions on Wednesday.
The Bill was moved for passing by Minister of State (MoS), Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai in the house.
The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010 “regulates the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies and to prohibit acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality for any activities detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”
The Bill seeks to bring amendment in Section 3 of the FCRA to bring public servant under the list of people prohibited to accept foreign contributions and to make furnishing of Aadhaar numbers of office-bearers of any NGO mandatory for registration and also effect other changes. The bill also proposes to enable the Centre to allow an NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate. In addition to that, the Bill also seeks to introduce an amendment in section 11 of FCRA, which states that foreign contributions cannot be transferred to any other person unless that person is also registered by the Central Government to accept foreign contributions, by prohibiting the transfer of foreign contribution to any other ‘person’ which is not defined and could be an individual, an association, or a registered company. The Bill also seeks to restrict the use of foreign contributions for administrative purposes from the earlier 50% to 20%. Another important aspects of the Bill is to extend the period of suspension of registration of a person by the government from the present limit of 180 days by up to an additional 180 days.