FCRA modifications have extended the limit of Rs. 1 lakh. Indians can now receive up to Rs. 10 lakh from relatives abroad. In the event of exceeding this limit, they have 3 months instead of 1 month to inform the authorities.
Certain laws pertaining to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) have been modified by the Union Home Ministry to allow Indians to receive up to ten lakh rupees in a calendar year from relatives living outside of the country without having to report it to the proper authorities. Previously, the cap was set at Rs. 1 lakh.
Additionally, the home ministry stated, in a notification, that if the amount was exceeded, the individuals would now have 90 days to alert the government rather than the 30 days that they had previously had. On Friday night, the home ministry issued a gazette notification informing the public about the newly enacted rules, which are officially titled the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2022.
The notification stated that the words “one lakh rupees” and “thirty days” in Rule 6 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2011 will be replaced with “ten lakh rupees” and “three months,” respectively. Rule 6 addresses the intimation of receiving foreign funds from relatives.
It was stated earlier that any person who received a foreign contribution in excess of Rs 1 lakh or equivalent thereto in a financial year from any of his relatives was required to inform the central government (details of funds) within 30 days of receiving such a contribution. In a similar manner, the amended rules have given individuals, organisations, or NGOs 45 days to inform the home ministry about bank accounts that are to be used for the utilisation of such funds. Rule 9 is the rule that deals with the application of obtaining “registration” or “prior permission” under the FCRA to receiving funds. This time has been extended from the earlier limit of 30 days.
The provision “b” of regulation 13 that dealt with declaring foreign funds on the website of the central government every quarter, including details of donors, the amount received, and the date it was received, among other things, has been omitted by the central government. Everyone who receives foreign funds under the FCRA will now be required to follow the existing provision of placing the audited statement of accounts on receipts and utilisation of the foreign contribution, including income and expenditure statement, receipt and payment account and balance sheet for every financial year beginning on the first day of April, within nine months of the closure of the financial year on its official website or on the website as specified by the Centre.
A requirement that an individual or non-governmental organisation (NGO) that receives foreign funding be required to declare their contributions on the organisation’s official website once every three months is no longer in effect. The home ministry has extended the amount of time given to notify it of changes to a bank account, name, address, goals, or key members of an organisation that is receiving foreign donations from 15 days to 45 days. Previously, the amount of time given was only 15 days.
In November 2020, the home ministry made the FCRA rules stricter, making it clear that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that may not be directly linked to a political party but engage in political action like bandhs, strikes, or road blockades will be considered of political nature if they participate in active politics or party politics. Farmers’ organisations, student organisations, organisations representing workers, and organisations based on caste are examples of the types of groups that fall under this category.
As part of the FCRA’s amendment, the government placed restrictions on the ability of public workers to accept foreign financing and mandated that all office-bearers of non-governmental organisations have an Aadhaar number. Another provision of the new legislation states that organisations receiving overseas funding cannot spend more than 20% of their funds on administrative activities. Before the year 2020, this restriction was set at 50 percent. All non-governmental organisations that receive funding are required by law to obtain FCRA registration in order to comply with the law.