New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) Several NGOs on Thursday appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind to not sign the FCRA amendment bill and send it back for a parliamentary committee consultation.
The Parliament on Wednesday passed a bill to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act to make furnishing of Aadhaar numbers by office bearers of NGOs mandatory for registration.
The government has asserted that the proposed legislation is aimed at transparency and is not against any NGO.
'We request the President of India to send back this amendment and that a special committee to be appointed to review the same in an appropriate manner. The legislation needs to be enabling and at par with FDI for corporates, and it needs to be done in a consultative manner with NGOs,' Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of the Population Foundation of India (PFI) said during an online press conference.
Hasina Kharbhih, Founder of the north eastern IMPULSE NGO Network, said, 'In a democratic India, FCRA Bill 2020 is not friendly to non-profit organizations. The amendment is going to restrict their freedom and control the NGO’s groundwork. We have been supported by international funds for this long, but the amendment will challenge our work on the ground'.
Harsh Jaitli, CEO, VANI, an apex body of Indian NGOs, said, 'This will unfortunately impact the work of grass-root organizations passionately working in the remote areas. The sector has worked diligently to serve all our citizens but it is coming under scrutiny and all those organizations that have been doing outstanding work and adhering to all the rules are now being punished for no reason'.
The bill provides for reduction in administrative expenses of any NGO receiving foreign funding, from 50 per cent to 20 per cent of annual funds, to ensure spending on their main objectives.
Among the other provisions, the bill proposes to enable the Centre to allow an NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate. The bill also seeks to bar public servants from receiving funds from abroad. PTI GJS GJS RDM RDM