FCRA Rules Amended: Now, Receive 10 Lakh Annually From Relatives Abroad 

It is very much possible for Indians to now receive up to Rs. 10 lakh annually from relatives, who live overseas without informing the authorities. This is courtesy of the changes made by the Union Home Ministry to certain provisions relating to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). 

The previous cap was Rs. 1 lakh, as per the article published by The Economic Times. The home ministry also said in a statement that instead of 30 days, if the sum surpasses the ceiling, the people would now have 90 days to notify the government. 

The home ministry published a gazette notification on Friday night announcing the new regulations, known as the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2022. 

The notification said that “the terms ‘one lakh rupees’ shall be replaced with ‘ten lakh rupees’ and ‘thirty days’ shall be replaced with ‘three months’ in rule 6 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011. 

Rule 6 addresses hints of accepting foreign payments from family members. Before, it was written that “any individual receiving foreign contribution from any of his relatives in excess of Rs 1 lakh or equivalent in a financial year should report the Central Government (details of money) within 30 days from the receipt of such contribution.” 

In addition, the modified regulations have permitted people and organizations or NGOs 45 days to apply for “registration” or “advance approval” under the FCRA, rule 9, which deals with the same matter. 

Provision “b” of Rule 13—which required the central government to publish on its website quarterly declarations of foreign funds—along with donor information, the amount received, the date of receipt, etc.—has also been “omitted” by the government. 

Anyone receiving foreign funds under the FCRA will now need to abide by the existing requirement to post the audited statement of accounts on receipts and utilization of the foreign contribution, including income and expenditure statement, receipt and payment account, and balance sheet for each financial year, beginning the first of April, within nine months of the financial year’s end, on its official website or the website as specified by the Central Government. 

A requirement that an NGO or an individual receiving foreign donations should disclose such contributions on its official website every three months has also been eliminated. 

The home ministry now gives organizations receiving foreign funding 45 days, instead of 15 days, to notify it of changes to their bank account, name, address, goals or key personnel. 

The home ministry strengthened the FCRA regulations in November 2020, making it clear that NGOs that may not be directly affiliated with a political party but participate in political action such as bandhs, strikes, or road blockades will be regarded as having a political nature if they engage in active politics or party politics. 

Farmers’ organizations, student organizations, labour organizations and caste-based organizations are among the organizations included in this category. 

Government officials also prohibited public employees from collecting foreign funds under the FCRA amendment and made Aadhaar a requirement for all NGOs’ office holders. 

According to the new regulation, organizations that receive foreign funding are not permitted to utilize more than 20% of it for administrative needs. Before 2020, this percentage was capped at 50%. All NGOs that receive funding are required by law to register with the FCRA. 

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