FCRA Registration Deadline for NGOs Extended till MAR 31

The government on Friday extended till March 31, 2022, the validity of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) registration of NGOs that had to apply for its renewal by December 31, 2021.

The home ministry has made valid FCRA registration certificates a must for NGOs to be able to receive and utilize contributions from abroad. This is the fourth time that the Centre has granted extension to NGOs following passing of the FCRA Amendment Act in September 2020.

Citing “public interest” the ministry in an order said it has decided to extended the validity of the FCRA registration certificate up to March 31, 2022, or till the date of disposal of the renewal application, whichever is earlier, for NGOs that meet certain criteria.

It said NGOs whose FCRA re3gistration certificates are expiring “between September 29, 2020 and March 31, 2022” and have applied for renewal on the FCRA portal before the expiry of the certificates” in accordance with Rule 12 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011, are eligible for the benefits, the order said.

“All FCRA-registered associations are, therefore, advised to take note of the fact that in case refusal of the application for renewal of certificate of registration, the validity of the certificate shall be deemed to have expired on the date of refusal of the application of renewal and the association shall not be eligible either to receive foreign contribution or utilize the foreign contribution received,” the notice said.

Under FCRA 2020, it is compulsory for all NGOs to open an ‘FCRA account’ with State Bank of India’s main branch in the national capital for initial receipt of foreign contribution from a foreign source.

On the Missionaries of Charity, a home ministry official said the organization will not be eligible for the extension benefits as its application for renewal of the FCRA registration has already been rejected.

It may, however, appeal against the home ministry’s decision, he said.   S-ET

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