Oxfam India on Sunday said the home ministry’s refusal to renew registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, or FCRA will disturb the organisation’s humanitarian work, including the provision of Covid-related relief, in 16 states.
The registration of Oxfam India and 5,932 other non-government organisations lapsed on Saturday. The registrations ceased as either the NGOs did not apply for renewal, or the home ministry refused to sanction their applications. FCRA registration is a mandatory requirement to receive foreign funds.
The development came days after Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, asked all its centres on Monday to not operate the organisation’s foreign contribution accounts after the home ministry refused to renew the permission to receive funds from abroad.
On Sunday, Oxfam India Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Behar said that the organisation has been setting up oxygen plants, providing oxygen cylinders and ventilators and delivering food to the frontline workers and vulnerable persons in the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs’s decision to deny renewal of FCRA registration will severely hamper these collaborations which were providing relief to those who needed it the most during times of crisis,” Behar said.
But, he added that the home ministry’s stance will not reduce the organisation’s humanitarian work in the country.
“Oxfam India will reach out to the MHA and will urge them to lift the funding restrictions to ensure vulnerable communities keep receiving the support they need at this critical time of the pandemic,” Behar said.
Missionaries of Charity FCRA registration row
In a press release, the home ministry said that Missionaries of Charity’s application was rejected for failing to meet the eligibility conditions under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules, 2011.
Meanwhile, the Missionaries of Charity said that its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration had not been suspended or cancelled. The organisation said that it had asked its units not to operate any accounts that receive foreign contributions “until the matter is resolved” as it wanted to “ensure there is no lapse”.