The FCRA registration of Missionaries of Charity(MoC) was restored on January 7, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has confirmed. This has brought an immense sense of relief to the Catholic community in the country. The congregation, founded by Saint Teresa of Calcutta 71 years ago, is held in high esteem.
After the MHA turned down its request for licence renewal on December 25, the MoC had joined around 6,000 entities whose FCRA registration had ceased to exist. The MHA had said registration was earlier not renewed as “some adverse inputs” were noticed.
With the central government’s latest action, the Mother Teresa-founded charity is back on the list of over 16,000 NGOs whose FCRA registration is currently active.
The FCRA registration is mandatory for any association and NGO to receive and utilise foreign funding.
The MoC has over 240 houses for orphans, the destitute and AIDS patients all over India. Last year, it completed 71 years of work in India.
The move comes just days after the MHA stated that the FCRA registration of the MoC was not renewed as “some adverse inputs were noticed.”
The registration was renewed, making MoC eligible to receive and utilise foreign funds in its bank accounts even as the U.K Parliament debated the issue, seeking to know if the British government had raised the issue of blocking of overseas funds of the MoC and other NGOs with India, reported The Hindu newspaper.
On January 7, the MoC was removed from the list of around 6,000 NGOs whose registration ceased. The NGO with the registration number-147120001 was included in the list of 16,908 NGOs whose FCRA registration is active as of January 7.
There are 1,030 NGOs eligible to receive foreign donations in West Bengal and the MoC was added to the list.
The registration of nearly 6,000 NGOs ceased to operate from January 1 as the MHA refused to renew their application or the NGOs did not apply for renewal.
MHA had earlier said that the MoC’s renewal was refused on December 25 for not meeting the eligibility conditions. It said that its license was valid till October 31 but was extended till December 31 along with other associations whose renewal is pending.
An MHA official said on January 1 that the Ministry declined to renew the FCRA registration of 179 NGOs, while 5,789 associations did not apply for a renewal before the December 31 deadline. The deadline for those NGOs who had applied before December 31 and whose application was not rejected have been given an extension till March 31.
According to the 2020-21 annual financial returns filed by the Kolkata registered NGO on December 13, the total balance in its foreign contribution bank account stood at ₹103.76 crores. It has more than 250 bank accounts to utilise the foreign funds across the country.
The Ministry had asserted that NGOs whose request for renewal was turned down will not be eligible to either receive or utilise the foreign contribution in their designated bank accounts.