The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 which seeks to make Aadhaar mandatory for NGOs to receive foreign funds. The bill seeks to make it compulsory for office bearers of any NGO to provide their Aadhaar numbers at the time of registration and also bring various other changes. The bill is still to be cleared by the upper house or Rajya Sabha.
Amid concerns raised by various Opposition members about the The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the legislation was not against any religion or NGO. The bill was passed after a discussion in the lower house.
Replying to the discussion on the bill, the minister asserted that the bill was necessary for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) and that it will also help in curbing misuse of foreign funds. Among other provisions, the bill proposes to enable the government to allow a NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate.
"The annual inflow of foreign contribution has almost doubled between the years 2010 and 2019, but many recipients of foreign contribution have not utilised the same for the purpose for which they were registered or granted prior permission under the said Act. Many of them were also found wanting in ensuring basic statutory compliances such as submission of annual returns and maintenance of proper accounts," the proposed amendment said..
"This has led to a situation where the central government had to cancel certificates of registration of more than 19,000 recipient organisations, including non-governmental organisations, during the period between 2011 and 2019," it aso said.