Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Government Cancels FCRA Licences of NGOs CHRI And AAWWI

The licenses were cancelled as the home ministry found violations of the act in its investigation, said a ministry official
April 27, 2022
A Million Meal Boat in Bihar. Photo credit: apneaap.org

The government of India has cancelled the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and Apne Aap Women Worldwide India (AAWWI), citing violations of the act, said Indian Express in an article.

CHRI’s licence was already under suspension since last year, and has now been cancelled as the investigation found violations. The NGO cannot be allowed to continue to receive foreign funding, said a ministry official.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had suspended CHRI’s licence for 180 days last year for alleged FCRA violations. In its suspension order, it had said that the CHRI had not given information about opening of a bank account in February 2016. It also accused the NGO of other FCRA violations. “Further, one utilisation account through which the association has been utilising foreign contribution has not been intimated in ARs (annual reports) for FY 2016-17 and 2017-18,” the MHA order added.

The NGO faced other allegations of not giving information in its annual report about projects for which it received foreign contribution and refunding some foreign contributions back to the donor in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 in violation of FCRA regulations, said the news report.

Last year, against the order, the NGO had moved the Delhi High Court. It contended that the 180-day suspension threatened its “very existence” and caused great harm to its reputation. CHRI said, freezing of its receipt and utilisation bank accounts had restricted its planned programme activities. It was also not in a position to pay salaries to its 40 staff members and consultants, the appeal said.

The NGO had informed the high court that it had provided clarification to the Centre where it had given details of project-wise foreign contribution received and the funds utilised in 2018-19. It also informed the MHA about the opening and closing balance of foreign contribution through online receipts account, payments account, income account and the expenditure account for 2018-2019, the NGO added.