New Delhi: In order to receive funds, all NGOs, including their office bearers, key functionaries and employees, will now have to declare before the government that they were not prosecuted or convicted for religious conversions, as per new rules on foreign funding. Also Read - CBI Files Case Against NGO, Says Lawyers Anand Grover, Indira Jaisingh Used Foreign Contribution on Selves
A notification was issued by the government on Monday, in which it announced changes under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules 2011, which include that individuals receiving a personal gift worth up to Rs. 1 lakh need to declare anymore. Also Read - Dip in foreign contribution to NGOs from 2015-16 to 2016-17: Rijiju
It must be noted that as per earlier rules, gifts valued at more than Rs. 25,000 had to declare before the government.
According to the notification, it has been made mandatory for every key member of the NGO “office bearers and key functionaries and members” to certify that they have not been “prosecuted or convicted” for “conversion” from one faith to another and for creating “communal tension and disharmony”.
Earlier, as per the FCRA 2010, only the applicants such as directors who were seeking permission to receive foreign contribution were required to make such a declaration.
In addition, every member of an NGO must also now, under oath, through an affidavit, certify that they have never been involved in “diverting” foreign funds or propagating “sedition” or “advocating violent means”.
This declaration, too, needs to be given to all members of an NGO. Earlier, this declaration was to be only given by the applicant of an NGO.
Individuals receiving personal gift valued up to Rs 1 lakh need not inform the government about it anymore, the Home Ministry said on Monday as it amended the FCRA.
Earlier, the threshold value was Rs 25,000, as per the market value of the gift item in India.
The Centre amended the rules governing the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2011, and notified this change alongside some other modifications.
In case of emergent medical aid needed during a visit abroad, the acceptance of foreign hospitality has to be intimated to the government within a month of such receipt, according to the amended rules.
The intimation should contain full details including the source, the approximate value in Indian rupees and the purpose for which and the manner in which it was utilised. Earlier, the intimation was required to be given within two months.
The Modi government has over the past five years tightened rules and procedures to receive and utilise foreign contribution.
Permission to receive foreign contribution has been taken away from nearly 18,000 NGOs which were found to be violating the various clauses of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
(With PTI inputs)