The Union Home Ministry has made the decision to amend specific rules related to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), granting Indians the ability to receive up to ₹10 lakh every year from their relatives living in foreign countries without informing the authorities. Previously, this limit was set at ₹1 lakh.
In an official release, the home ministry also revealed that if the amount exceeds, individuals would have 90 days to inform the Centre instead of 30 days earlier.
Know About The New Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act
According to the new rules, Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2022, were informed by the home ministry through a gazette notification on July 1.
"In the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011, in Rule 6, — for the words "one lakh rupees", the words "ten lakh rupees" shall be substituted; and for the words "thirty days", the words "three months" shall be substituted," the notification said. Meanwhile, Rule 6 deals with an intimation of receiving foreign funds from relatives, reported IndiaToday.
Earlier, it stated that "any person receiving a foreign contribution in excess of Rs 1 lakh or equivalent thereto in a financial year from any of his relatives shall inform the central government (details of funds) within 30 days from the receipt of such contribution".
Furthermore, making changes in Rule 9, which deals with the application to obtain 'prior permission' or 'registration' under the FCRA to receive funds, the amended rules have given organisations or individuals or NGOs 45 days to notify the home ministry regarding bank account (s) that are to be used for the utilisation of such funds, with the time limit being set for 30 days earlier.
A Change In Rules!
The Centre also 'omitted' provision 'b' in Rule 13, which dealt with announcing foreign funds, including details of donors, date of receipt, and the amount received, etc., every quarter on its website.
With this, people receiving foreign funds under the FCRA will need to follow all the existing provisions of putting forward the audited statement of accounts on receipts and utilisation of the foreign contribution, including expenditure and income statement, receipt and balance sheet and payment account for every financial year beginning on April 1, within nine months of the closure of the financial year, on its official website or the site as specified by the government.
As per a provision, an NGO or an individual receiving foreign funds also has to declare such contributions every quarter on their official website has also been done away with. The home ministry had also made the FCRA rules tougher during November 2020, making it clear that NGOs that may not be directly linked to a political party but engage in political action like bandhs, strikes or road blockades will be considered of a political nature if they participate in active politics or party politics.
In case of a change of bank account, address, name, aims, or key members of the organisation (s) obtaining foreign funds, the home ministry has given the allowance of 45 days to inform it, instead of the 15 days previously.
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