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FCRA ASSOCIATIONS

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FCRA ASSOCIATIONS
By: Mr. M. GOVINDARAJAN
April 8, 2021
All Articles by: Mr. M. GOVINDARAJAN       View Profile
  • Contents

Association

Section 2(1)(a) of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 defines the term ‘Association’ as an association of individuals, whether incorporated or not, having an office in India and includes a society, whether registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or not, and any other organization, by whatever name called.

Qualifying criterion for registration

Rule 9(1)(f) [inserted by Foreign Contribution (Regulation) (Amendment) Rules, 2020] provides that a person seeking registration under clause (b) of sub-section (4) of section 12 of the Act shall meet the following conditions, namely:

  • it shall be in existence for three years and have spent a minimum amount of ₹ 15 lakh on its core activities for the benefit of society during the last 3 financial years; the Central Government, in exceptional cases or in cases where a person is controlled by the Central Government or a State Government may waive the conditions;
  • if the person wants inclusion of its existing capital investment in assets like land, building, other permanent structures, vehicles, equipment in the computation of its spending during last three years, then the chief functionary shall give an undertaking that the assets shall be vested henceforth with the person till the validity of the certificate and they shall be utilized only for the activities covered under the Act and the rules made there under and shall not be diverted for any other purpose till the validity of its certificate of registration remains valid.

If the person is not registered with the Central Government he can accept any foreign contribution only after obtaining the prior permission of the Central Government and such prior permission shall be valid for the specific purpose for which it is obtained and from the specific source.

Qualifying criterion for permission

Rule 9(2) (f) [inserted by Foreign Contribution (Regulation) (Amendment) Rules, 2020] provides that a person seeking prior permission for receipt of specific amount from a specific donor for carrying out specific activities or projects mentioned in clause (c) of sub-section (4) of section 12 of the Act shall meet the following criteria, namely:

  • submit a specific commitment letter from the donor indicating the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is proposed to be given;
  • for the Indian recipient persons and foreign donor organizations having common members, prior permission shall be granted to the person subject to it satisfying the following conditions, namely-
  • the chief functionary of the recipient person shall not be a part of the donor organization;
  • 75% of the office-bearers or members of the governing body of the person shall not be members or employees of the foreign donor organization;
  • in case of foreign donor organization being a single individual that individual shall not be the chief functionary or office bearer of the recipient person; and
  • in case of a single foreign donor, seventy-five per cent. of the office bearers or members of the governing body of the recipient person shall not be the family members or close relatives of the donor

Registration/permission

  • Application for grant of registration and prior permission is to be made online in the amended Form FC-3A and Form FC-3B respectively on the FCRA web portal: fcraonline.nic.in.
  • Every applicant for Registration/Prior Permission shall obtain a unique Darpan ID from the Darpan Portal of NITI Aayog.
  • Any Association wishing to receive foreign contribution (FC) must have a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme for the benefit of society.
  • Detailed qualifying criterion for registration or prior permission are enumerated in Rule 9(1)(f) and 9(2)(f) for seeking Registration and Prior Permission respectively
  • No foreign national other than one of Indian Origin can be an office bearer or a trustee including the Chief Functionary of an organization/NGO. Foreigners can, however, be, allowed to be associated with such associations in ex-officio capacity if they are representing multilateral bodies, foreign contribution from whom is exempted from the purview of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, or in a purely honorary capacity depending upon the person’s stature in his / her field of activity. Relaxation may be considered, on a case to case basis, if any of the following grounds is met:
  • the foreigner is married to an Indian Citizen;
  • the foreigner has been living and working in India for at least five years;
  • the foreigner has made available his / her specialized knowledge, especially in the medical and health related fields on a voluntary basis in India, in the past;
  • the foreigner is a part of the Board of Trustees / Executive Committee in terms of the provisions of an inter-governmental agreement.
  • The foreigner is part of the Board of Trustees / Executive Committee, in an ex-officio capacity representing a multilateral body which is exempted from the definition of foreign source.
  • All associations seeking registration or prior permission under FCRA, 2010 shall be required to give affidavits signed by all members/trustees and an undertaking for adherence to Good practice guidelines of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as at Annexure.
  • The application should be complete in all respects with no field left blank and no concealment of any earlier application for Registration/Prior Permission under FCRA, 2010.
  • Request for prior permission should be sent for receiving a specific amount, for a specific purpose/project and from a specific donor.
  • Following documents are to be uploaded with the online application for grant of Registration-
  • Certified copy of registration certificate or Trust deed or such document, as the case may be;
  • Details of activities during the last three years;
  • Copies of audited statement of accounts for the past three years (Asset and Liabilities, Receipt and Payment, Income and Expenditure);
  • Affidavit executed by each office bearer and key functionary and member (in Proforma ‘AA’) as mandated under Gazette Notification No. G.S.R. 659(E) dated 16 September, 2019.

A fee of ₹ 10,000/- is required to be paid through the online payment gateway.

  • Following documents are required to be uploaded with the online application for grant of Prior Permission:
  • Certified copy of registration certificate or Trust deed or other such document, as the case may be;
  • Commitment letter from foreign donor specifying the amount of foreign contribution;
  • Copy of the project report for which foreign contribution is solicited/being offered;
  • Affidavit executed by each office bearer and key functionary and member (in Proforma ‘AA’) as mandated under Gazette Notification No. G.S.R. 659(E), dated 16th September, 2019.

A fee of ₹ 5000/- is required to be paid through online payment gateway.

Total Associations Registered

The total Association with FCRA is 49908.

Year wise Registered FCRA Associations

Sl. No.

Year

Total Associations Registered

1

Before 2011

40376

2

2011

1961

3

2012

1540

4

2013

1296

5

2014

1108

6

2015

564

7

2016

635

8

2017

1012

9

2018

521

10

2019

683

11

2020

165

12

2021

47

State wise registered FCRA Association

Sl. No.

Name of State/UT

Total Associations Registered

1

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

24

2

Andhra Pradesh

4152

3

Arunachal Pradesh

90

4

Assam

571

5

Bihar

2164

6

Chandigarh

98

7

Chhattisgarh

358

8

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

16

9

Daman and Diu

2

10

Delhi

2862

11

Goa

197

12

Gujarat

2247

13

Haryana

353

14

Himachal Pradesh

250

15

Jammu & Kashmir

220

16

Jharkhand

810

17

Karnataka

3655

18

Kerala

3008

19

Madhya Pradesh

1075

20

Maharashtra

5124

21

Manipur

972

22

Meghalaya

202

23

Mizoram

76

24

Nagaland

260

25

Orissa

2699

26

Pondicherry

134

27

Punjab

343

28

Rajasthan

1020

29

Sikkim

24

30

Tamil Nadu

6483

31

Telangana

2212

32

Tripura

75

33

Uttar Pradesh

3452

34

Uttarakhand

561

35

West Bengal

4100

Out of 49908 registrations, only 22525 associations are active; registration of 20673 associations were cancelled and 6710 associations are deemed expired as on now.

Renewal of registration

Every certificate of registration shall have to be renewed before the date of expiry of its validity. The application for renewal is to be made online in Form FC-3C along with the prescribed fee to be paid through online payment gateway, six months before the date of expiry of the certificate of registration.

FCRA Account

Every person who has been granted certificate or prior permission under section 12 shall receive foreign contribution only in an account designated as ‘FCRA Account’ by the bank, which shall be opened by him for the purpose of remittances of foreign contribution in such branch of the State Bank of India at New Delhi, as the Central Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf.

Accounts

An association granted prior permission or registration shall maintain a separate set of accounts, assets and records, exclusively for foreign contribution received and utilized. If the foreign contribution relates only to articles/ foreign securities, the intimation shall be submitted online in Form FC-1 and such articles/ securities shall be reflected in online Annual report FC-4.  The accounting statements shall have to be preserved by the NGO/association for a period of six years.

Change in particulars

Intimation for Change of name, address, registration, nature of activities or aims and objectives of an association, bank and/or bank account number and opening of bank account for utilization of foreign contribution should be intimated online only in Form FC-6(A to E) and uploading requisite documents within 15 days of effecting the change.

Annual returns

As per section 18(1) of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 read with Rule 17(1) , Associations registered under FCRA 2010 are required to submit electronically on line Annual Report in Form FC – 4 with scanned copies of income and expenditure statement, receipts and payments account, balance sheet etc.  Such Associations which do not receive any foreign contribution during a particular year are also required to furnish a NIL return for that financial year within the aforesaid period.  No physical copy of Annual return is accepted. Non filing of mandatory Annual Returns/accounts is in violation of Act and the Rules.

Annual Returns filed

Sl. No.

Block-year

Total filing

1

2006 – 07

22234

2

2007 – 08

22421

3

2008 – 09

23528

4

2009 – 10

22180

5

2010 – 11

24624

6

2011 – 12

25050

7

2012 – 13

24908

8

2013 – 14

25212

9

2014 – 15

25110

10

2015 – 16

24408

11

2016 – 17

23944

12

2017 – 18

23787

13

2018 – 19

22086

14

2019 - 20

4643

Reference:

  1. https://fcraonline.nic.in/home/index.aspx.

 

By: Mr. M. GOVINDARAJAN - April 8, 2021

 

 

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