The Ministry of Home Affairs restored the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration of Missionaries of Charity on Friday, The Hindu reported. FCRA registration is a mandatory requirement to receive foreign funds.
The organisation, founded by Mother Teresa, had asked asked all its centres on December 27 to not operate the organisation’s foreign contribution accounts after the home ministry refused to renew permission to receive funds from abroad.
The home ministry had earlier said that the NGO’s application was rejected for failing to meet eligibility conditions. However, on Friday, Missionaries of Charity was added to the list of 1,030 NGOs eligible to receive foreign funding in West Bengal, the report said.
Its registration is now valid until the end of 2026, according to The Indian Express. Missionaries of Charity spokesperson Sunita Kumar told the newspaper that they were “happy and delighted” that the Centre restored their FCRA registration. “People who are donating know it is for the poor. They also raised their voices, asking why this had happened,” she said.
Missionaries of Charity has more than 250 bank accounts across the country to utilise its foreign funds. On December 27, it 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, had said 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”.
Days after Missionaries of Charity’s statement, the FCRA registration of around 6,000 other NGOs had expired on January 1. This included Oxfam India, Indian Youth Centres Trust, Jamia Millia Islamia, Tuberculosis Association of India, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, Ramakrishna Mission and Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust
All NGOs have to renew their FCRA license every five years.
Overall, the FCRA registration of more than 19,000 NGOs in India has been cancelled by the home ministry for allegedly breaking the law. International organisations had expressed concern over the use of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to “stifle the voices” of activists and non-governmental organisations in India after Amnesty India’s bank accounts were frozen in 2020.