The United Kingdom recently brought up the matter of the home ministry’s refusal to renew Oxfam India’s registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, or FCRA, The Hindu reported on Sunday.
The matter was raised during the Fourth India-United Kingdom Home Affairs Dialogue held virtually on February 2.
Representatives of the United Kingdom were “explained about the law and how it works,” The Indian Express quoted an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs as saying.
A registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act is required to receive foreign funds.
On January 1, Oxfam India was among the 6,000 non-governmental organisations whose FCRA registration had expired. The registrations had ended as either the organisations did not apply for renewal, or the home ministry refused to sanction their applications.
On January 2, Oxfam India had said that the home ministry’s refusal to renew its registration will disturb the organisation’s humanitarian work, including the provision of Covid-related relief, in 16 states.
The Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, was also among the organisations whose registration was refused renewal. On January 8, however, the registration of the Missionaries of Charity was restored by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
According to The Hindu, an unidentified government official said that India did not give the British officials any assurance regarding a review of the cases.
The United Kingdom had not highlighted the issue in writing or formally so far either, said the unidentified government official, according to the report.
An unidentified diplomatic official said that the United Kingdom delegation also highlighted that the UK-NGO Freedom Fund had been refused its FCRA registration, according to The Hindu.
At the dialogue, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla led the Indian delegation while Mathew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary in the Home Office, headed the United Kingdom’s delegation.
Quoting from a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, The Indian Express said that the Indian side had stressed on the need to expedite “pending extradition cases.”
The Indian delegation also highlighted its concerns regarding “anti-India activities” by “extremists and radical elements in the United Kingdom”, according to the report.