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To ensure more stringent and the perfect utilization of foreign funds by Indian entities, only for the noble purposes declared, and to cater to the contemporary requirements impeccably, the new Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 2010, has been put into effect since May 2011 in India. This has been promulgated as per the Gazette Notification vide G.S.R.-349 (E), dated 29th April, 2011, of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The new FCRA of 2010, retains most of the provisions given in the repealed Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 1976.
A foreign contribution is a monetary or any other donations granted by any reputed foreign source. Monetary incomes gained from exporting one's products or services, are generally not taken as a foreign contribution. Again, money sent through the normal and conventional banking channels from the personal savings of an NRI, is also not considered as a foreign contribution. By foreign contribution, here we mainly mean all those foreign funds which are rendered by any prestigious and philanthropic foreign organizations or agencies to benevolent Indian organizations/companies/associations, to support certain categories of social development, social welfare, and other noble activities in any part of India.Who Can Receive and Avail Foreign Contributions?
Foreign funds have been being utilized by individuals, organizations, companies, and associations for a variety of social development and social welfare activities and campaigns pertaining to the fields of education, employment, science and technology, culture, environment, health and wellness, and so on. The new Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 2010 has a much wider applicability, and includes individuals and HUF (Hindu Undivided Family), in addition to the social organizations, associations, and section-25 companies.Purposes of the FCRA
The main and ultimate objectives of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, is to facilitate and regulate the easy and secure receiving of foreign grants and foreign hospitality, and the proper and perfect utilization of these in the stated activities of social development and welfare, by qualified persons and associations located in India. These foreign funds and grants are not permitted to be used for any anti-social or anti-national activities or purposes. The FCRA ensures that the received foreign grants and funds are strictly utilized for the stated objectives, and are not diverted or used for any activities or campaigns which are detrimental to the interests of the individuals of the society, peace and integrity of the nation, and noble values of the sovereign democratic republic of India.Types of FCRA Authorization
For lawful acquiring and proper utilization of the foreign grants or funding by any eligible entity, approval from the Central Government of India, can be obtained through FCRA Registration or the Prior Permission (PP). For obtaining any of these governmental permission, there are separate application formats and special requirements, which are described in the lower sections.
The FCRA Registration is provided (after thorough and scrupulous security vetting of the various activities and antecedents of the applicant entity) only to those organizations or companies which have a magnificent and laudable track record of functioning impressively in the concerned fields in past several years, at least three consecutive years.
The Prior Permission (PP) is generally granted to and is suitable for those nascent associations, companies, or organizations, which do not have a proven and impressive track record of working, particularly in the field for which the foreign contribution is being provided. Such entities cannot get the FCRA registration for getting and utilizing foreign grants and contribution. The prior permission is extended for any specific purpose or project, for a specific amount of foreign funding, and from a specific foreign source.
The most important eligibility criteria for obtaining FCRA Registration and Prior Permission, are the following:
The application for the FCRA Registration and the Prior Permission (PP) is to be made using the Form FC-3 and Form FC-4, respectively in triplicate, which is to be accompanies by the documents mentioned in sections below. The prescribed fee for these are at present INR-2000/- and INR-1000/-, respectively; which are to be sent through demand draft or banker's cheque drawn in favor of the "Pay and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs", payable in New Delhi. Depending upon the requirement, any of these applications is to be sent to the following address:
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA),
Foreigners Division (FCRA Wing),
NDCC-II Building, Jai Singh Road, Near Jantar Mantar,
New Delhi – 110001
In case of filing the Form electronically online, the hard copy of the online application properly signed by the chief functionary of the applicant entity, must reach the Central Government within Thirty days of online filing, together with all demanded documents listed below.
The Form FC-3 and Form FC-4 can promptly be obtained from the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which are contained in the following web-pages:
The following are the most important and recommended documents for acquiring the FCRA registration certificate:
The following are the essential documents for obtaining prior permission of the MHA:
An applicant can generally receive the certificate of FCRA Registration or the Prior Permission within 90 to 120 days after the filing application for any of these certificates. In case of rejection, the MHA will inform the applicant within this period, about the reasons for rejection of the request.Validity and Renewal of FCRA Registration Certificate
As per the provisions of the new FCRA Act of India( the FCRA, 2010), the validity of the FCRA registration shall last for a period of Five Years, counted from the date of issuing the registration certificate. For renewal of the FCRA registration, the applicant is required to submit the well-completed Form FC-5 to the Central Government of India, at least Six Months before the expiry date. The applicable fee for renewal of the FCRA registration is INR-500/- at present, which is to be remitted by Demand Draft or Banker's Cheque drawn in favor of the 'Pay and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs, payable in New Delhi.