By: Ramesh Vaidyanathan and Laxmi Joshi
The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and rules framed under it (the “FCRA” or “Act”) regulate the receipt and usage of foreign contribution by non-governmental organisations (“NGOs”) in India. NGOs play an important role in the upliftment of the weaker sections of the society and their overall development. This is especially true in the case of India, where a vast majority of its population continues to remain under the poverty line and have little or no access to even basic facilities provided by the government.
Being non-profit organisations, operations of NGOs are entirely reliant on donations, both domestic and foreign. In recent times, many NGOs have come under the government scanner for alleged contravention of FCRA. As per news reports, as many as 11,000 NGOs have even lost their permit to receive foreign contribution. While, the government claims that the licenses were cancelled due to violation of the act, the NGOs are contending that the government is wrongly using its discretionary powers under the act to suppress voices of dissent, especially those against