The Center revokes the FCRA licenses of 4 NGOs, CHRI, AAWW, HGM and POET

The central government has canceled FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) licenses from several other NGOs, including Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Apne Aap Women Worldwide India (AAWWI), Heavenly Grace Ministries and Peoples Organization For Empowerment Of Tribals (POET). The government said that these NGOs had violated the provisions of the law.

A ministry official was quoted by the Indian Express as saying CHRI’s license was revoked after the investigation was completed. He had already been suspended for a year. The official said, “This has now been canceled as the investigation is complete, and the ministry is of the opinion that given the violations, the NGO cannot be allowed to continue receiving foreign funding.”

Last year, the Department of the Interior (MHA) suspended CHRI’s license for 180 days, citing an alleged violation of FCRA laws. In the order, the ministry said CHRI failed to provide information about opening a bank account in February 2016. The NGO was also accused of breaching other regulations under the FCRA, 2010. The order said: “Furthermore, a use account by which the association used the foreign contribution was not suggested in the ARs (annual returns) for fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017 -18. »

CHRI did not provide information on the projects for which it had received foreign funding in the annual report. It also reimbursed certain foreign contributions to the donor in 2013-14 and 2014-15, but did not mention this in the reports, which was against FCRA regulations.

After the license was suspended, CHRI contacted the Delhi High Court. The NGO said in its plea that the suspension would threaten its existence and damage its reputation. He added that the suspension would prevent him from using the funds for planned activities and paying employee salaries. The NGO claimed to have provided information on funds and bank details for the 2018-19 financial year to the government. However, the High Court did not award any relief to the NGO.

Along with CHRI, the FCRA license of Apne Aap Women Worldwide (AAWW) has also been canceled by Union Home Ministry. The organization has not filed the annual financial reports required by the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act 2010.

Odisha-based NGOs Heavenly Grace Ministries and Peoples Organization For Empowerment Of Tribals (POET) have also secured their licenses. revoked on FCRA violations. Their license was suspended for 180 days last year. A government official said that these two NGOs had not met the basic criteria needed to regularize their FCRA licenses. “Based on the evidence received against the two NGOs, the MHA suspended their registration in August last year and eventually revoked their license after due investigation,” the official said.

Heavenly Grace Ministries is an evangelical Christian organization, while POET is involved in tribal welfare works in some districts of Odisha.

Over the past few years, thousands of NGOs have lost their FCRA license for failing to follow the rules. In the last 5 years, from 2017 to 2021, the licenses of approximately 1900 NGOs or associations registered under the “social” category have been canceled by the union government for violating FCRA rules. On January 1 this year, the licenses of more than 6,000 NGOs expired because they had not applied for renewal.

Barry F. Howard