Cen­tre can­cels FCRA li­cence of Ig­nou, 4,800 other bod­ies

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION - Bharti.Jain@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The Union home min­istry has can­celled the li­cence of 4,842 NGOs and or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing Indira Gandhi Na­tional Open Uni­ver­sity (Ig­nou) and Delhi’s Guru Tegh Ba­hadur Khalsa Col­lege, un­der the For­eign Con­tri­bu­tion Reg­u­la­tion Act for fail­ing to file an­nual re­turns from 201011 to 2014-15 de­spite sev­eral re­minders, sources in the min­istry told TOIon Satur­day.

It is manda­tory for an NGO or an or­gan­i­sa­tion that has been granted li­cence un­der FCRA to file re­turns of its for­eign con­tri­bu­tion re­ceipts and ex­pen­di­ture records on an an­nual ba­sis.

The Union home min­istry scrapped FCRA reg­is­tra­tion of the 4,842 NGOs and or­gan­i­sa­tions on Au­gust 8 this year af­ter they did not file re­turns for a min­i­mum three out of five years between 2010-11and 2014-15.

It may be re­called that it had, in 2015, can­celled the reg­is­tra­tion of 10,020 NGOs over non-ad­her­ence to FCRA norms. The NGOs af­fected at the time in­cluded Delhi Uni­ver­sity, Jawa­har­lal Nehru Uni­ver­sity, IIT (Delhi), School of Plan­ning & Ar­chi­tec­ture and Pun­jab Uni­ver­sity. In­ci­den­tally, in­sti­tu­tions formed un­der an Act or statute are ex­empt from manda­tory FCRA reg­is­tra­tion and fil­ing of an­nual re­turns. A 2011 home min­istry no­ti­fi­ca­tion ex­empted them on the ground that their ac­counts were any­way scru­ti­nised and au­dited by CAG. “JNU, IITs and Delhi Uni­ver­sity can there­fore still re­ceive for­eign fund­ing de­spite hav­ing lost their FCRA li­cence in 2015,” said a home min­istry of­fi­cial.

In May, around 18,500 NGOs that had not been reg­u­larly fil­ing re­turns un­der FCRA over past 5 years, were given a one-time op­por­tu­nity to give de­tails of their in­come and ex­penses. No penalty was to be paid by the de­fault­ers. While 12,537 NGOs re­verted, around 5,922 did not bother to upload their re­turns.

The lat­ter were served a no­tice in July, well af­ter the ex­tended dead­line to file re­turns had ex­pired, ask­ing why their FCRA li­cence should not be can­celled over non-fil­ing of an­nual re­turns. While 950 NGOs re­sponded to the no­tice, there was no word from 4,842 NGOs, lead­ing the home min­istry to can­cel FCRA reg­is­tra­tion of the lat­ter.

The or­gan­i­sa­tions failed to file an­nual re­turns, sources in the Union home min­istry said

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