The government has further toughened rules for organisations seeking foreign funding.
The fresh rules notified on Wednesday, November 11, state that any organisation seeking registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) must have operated for at least three years and spent "a minimum amount of Rs 15 lakh on its core activities for the benefit of society during the last three financial years".
Any organisation seeking permission for receiving a "specific amount from a specific donor for carrying out specific activities or projects" shall "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", the rules stated.
If the value of the foreign contribution is over Rs 1 crore, it may be given in instalments "provided that the second and subsequent instalment shall be released after submission of proof of utilisation of 75 per cent of the foreign contribution received in the previous instalment and after field inquiry of the utilisation of foreign contribution," the centre said.
The rules for declaring an organisation as a "political organisation" have been relaxed, with the student, farmer, worker and youth organisations being exempted unless they participate in "active politics or party politics". The rules also clarify that political organisations cannot receive foreign funds.
The new rules come in addition to the amendments to the FCRA that the Centre has passed in the last session of Parliament.
The amendments have made the FCRA, 2010 stricter, with the prohibition of transfer of funds from one NGO to another, reduction in administrative expenses through foreign funds from 50 per cent to 20 per cent, making Aadhaar compulsory for registration, and giving the government authority to stop utilisation of foreign funds through a "summary enquiry".