Govt cancels licences of 20,000 NGOs

27 December 2016

The centre has cancelled the licences of 20,000 non-government organisations (NGOs) out of 33,000 such organisations for violation of laws. The country is left with only 13,000 NGOs that are legally valid, according to the home ministry.

The licences of these NGOs were cancelled for violation of various provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), thus barring them from receiving foreign contributions, home minister Rajnath Singh stated during a review of the foreigners division of the home ministry today.

Giving a detailed presentation, home ministry officials said after cancellation of FCRA licences of around 20,000 NGOs, only 13,000 NGOs in the country are legally valid now.

The exercise of reviewing the working of the NGOs was started about a year ago and the process is still continuing, officials said.

Among the 13,000 valid NGOs, around 3,000 have submitted applications for renewal while the ministry of home affairs received 2,000 new applications for registration under the FCRA for the first time.

An additional 300 NGOs are currently under prior-permission category but not registered under the FCRA.

However, FCRA licences of around 16 NGOs were renewed by the home ministry under the "automatic" route and all the cases were reviewed thoroughly. Except in two cases, 14 NGOs have been put under the prior-permission category while papers of the two NGOs are under examination.

As per FCRA, if an NGO is put under prior-permission category, it is barred from receiving foreign funding without taking permission from the home ministry.

Last month, a home ministry official had said that as many as 1,736 NGOs, including Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Mata Amritnandmayi Math and Church of South India Diocese of Madras, would no longer be able to receive foreign funds as they had failed to renew their FCRA registration.

The registration of the 1,736 NGOs under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act had expired after these organisations had failed to submit required documents for renewal of their licence by 8 November 2016, a PTI report said.

Earlier, the centre had also denied renewal of FCRA registration to 25 NGOs after they were allegedly found to be involved in anti-national activities.

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