The Union home ministry on Friday extended the validity of the FCRA registration of NGOs by three months till March 31. However, organisations such as the Missionaries of Charity will not be eligible for the extension benefits as their applications for a renewal of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act registration have already been rejected, according to a notice issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The Centre, in public interest, has decided to extend the validity of the FCRA registration certificates of NGOs up to March 31, 2022 or till the date of disposal of their renewal applications, whichever is earlier, in respect of only those entities that fulfil certain criteria, the notice said.
The NGOs with FCRA registration certificates expiring between September 29, 2020 and March 31, 2022 and that have applied for renewal on the FCRA portal before the expiry of the certificates, in accordance with rule 12 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011, are eligible for the benefits.
"All FCRA registered associations are therefore advised to take note of the fact that in case of refusal of the application for renewal of certificate of registration, the validity of the certificate shall be deemed to have expired on the date of refusal of the application of renewal and the association shall not be eligible either to receive foreign contribution or utilise the foreign contribution received," the notice said.
The NGOs that have valid registration certificates under the FCRA are eligible to receive funding from abroad.
A total of 22,762 NGOs are registered under the FCRA and the renewal applications of about 6,500 have so far been processed.
The MHA, on December 25, rejected the renewal application of the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata, for not meeting the eligibility conditions under the FCRA as some adverse inputs were received.
In a statement, the MHA also said it did not freeze any bank account of the Missionaries of Charity, but the State Bank of India had informed that the organisation itself had sent a request to the bank to freeze its accounts.
Several political leaders, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, slammed the Centre for the rejection of the Missionaries of Charity's FCRA registration renewal application.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed all district collectors on Thursday to ensure that no unit of the Missionaries of Charity operating in the state faces any financial crisis and, if necessary, to use the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to help them.