Parties, media face strict FCRA norms

Host of new provisions introduced in law

The new FCRA that has come into effect from this month has made more stringent provisions  to prevent misuse  of  foreign contribution received by various organisations.  A person receiving foreign contribution will not be allowed to transfer money to any other person unless that person is also authorised to receive foreign contribution as per rules made by the Centre.The Union Home Ministry, which made it effective  from May 1, said no funds other than foreign contribution shall be deposited in the foreign contribution account to be separately maintained by the associations or companies.

“Every bank shall report to such authority, as may be prescribed, the amount of foreign remittance received, sources and manner and other particulars,” it said.A new provision in the FCRA says only up to 50 per cent of the foreign contribution shall be utilised for  administrative expenses and prior central permission would be needed if administrative expenses exceed 50 per cent of the foreign contribution.Under the repealed Act, there was “no time limit” regarding the validity of registration certificate granted to the associations etc, for accepting foreign contribution.

The new FCRA provides that the certificate granted shall be valid for a period of five years. False intimation or concealment of material fact, would invite imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or fine or with both. Any person contravening the provisions of the Act could be punished with a maximum of  five years or with fine or with both.

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