Oxfam India on Wednesday said that it had applied for the renewal of its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, or FCRA, registration on April 1. However, it got to know that the application had been rejected only on January 1 through the Union home ministry’s website, the non-government organisation added.
FCRA registration is a mandatory requirement to receive foreign funds.
The registration of 5,933 non-government organisations, including Oxfam India, lapsed on January 1. The registrations ceased as either the NGOs did not apply for renewal, or the home ministry refused to sanction their applications.
An updated list on the home ministry’s website named the organisations whose registrations were “deemed to cease”. Oxfam India was on the list, along with other prominent NGOs like Indian Youth Centres Trust, Jamia Millia Islamia and Tuberculosis Association of India.
In a statement on Wednesday, Oxfam India said that it would reach out to the home ministry to lift the funding restrictions.
“Oxfam India will continue to serve the marginalised communities and uphold values enshrined in the Indian Constitution,” the statement said.
A day before registrations of the 5,933 NGOs ended, the home ministry had extended the FCRA registration validity by three months of organisations whose certificates were expiring between September 29, 2020 and March 31, 2022.
However, only those NGOs whose renewal requests have not been refused, or have applied within six months of the expiry date of their registrations will get the benefit, the ministry had said. All NGOs have to renew their FCRA license every five years.
The FCRA registrations of Oxfam India and the other NGOs had ceased days after Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, asked all its centres on December 27 to not operate the organisation’s foreign contribution accounts after the home ministry refused to renew the permission to receive funds from abroad.
In a press release, the home ministry had said that Missionaries of Charity’s application had been 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 had said that its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration had not been suspended or cancelled. The organisation, which runs more than 240 homes for orphans, the destitute and AIDS patients across India, 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”.