The Union home ministry on Thursday recommended an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into non-governmental organisation Oxfam India for alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, reported India Today.
The investigation has been recommended after the home ministry alleged that Oxfam India continued to transfer foreign contributions to other entities even after the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act 2020 came into force. The amended law prohibits such transfers.
Unidentified officials told PTI that a survey by the Income Tax Department showed Oxfam India to be a probable instrument of foreign policy of foreign organisations or entities. The organisation is the India arm of global non-profit organisation Oxfam International.
The officials further alleged that Oxfam routed funds to think tank Centre for Policy Research in the form of commissions. On March 1, the Centre for Policy Research said that the home ministry suspended its licence under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act for 180 days.
Registration under the Act is mandatory for organisations to receive foreign funds.
On January 1, 2022 Oxfam India was also among 5,932 non-government organisations whose registrations ceased as either the NGOs did not apply for renewal, or the home ministry refused to sanction their applications.
Responding to the Centre’s recommendation on Thursday, Oxfam India said that it is fully compliant with Indian laws and has filed all its compliances, including Foreign Contribution Regulation Act returns, in a timely manner since its inception.
“Oxfam India has been cooperating with all government agencies since its FCRA registration wasn’t renewed in December 2021,” the non-profit said. The organisation said it has approached the Delhi High Court against the Centre’s decision not to renew its registration.
The organisation said that it will continue to work in public and national interest in times of growing inequality and greater need for action on poverty eradication. “Oxfam India believes this is our constitutional duty as an organisation, irrespective of obstacles and hurdles in the path.” it said.