Lok Sabha passes bill to amend Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act


New Delhi, September 21 (ANI): The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill that seeks to streamline the provisions of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, by strengthening the compliance mechanism and enhancing “transparency and accountability in the receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution”.

Replying to the debate on the bill, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said that Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 will stop the “misuse of the money” and rejected criticism by some opposition members that it targets minorities and has a few unnecessary provisions.

“When the government brought FCRA Bill in 2010, we were in opposition but we supported it. This amendment is not against NGOs and is not an attack on any religion. It will not stop foreign contribution. FCRA is a national and internal security law. This amendment is essential for Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he said.

He said that the amendment will bring transparency in foreign contributions and central government wants that such money should be spent in public interest. “The opposition does not want to stop misuse of foreign money. We will stop the misuse,” Rai said.

Responding to queries by MPs over Aadhaar card, the minister said that it is a significant proof of identification.

“Issue of Aadhaar Card was raised. Supreme Court clearly said it’s not mandatory to make Aadhaar Card a means to identify oneself everywhere. But it can be made mandatory by bringing a law, if important. Hence the amendment,” he said.

“If director or manager of an organisation want to hide their identity and can’t disclose their address, what work will they do? It casts suspicion on their intention. Why is Aadhaar Card being opposed? The Aadhar Card is a significant proof of identification,” he added.

The bill provides for insertion of a new section 12A empowering the central government to require Aadhaar number etc as identification document and insertion of a new section 14A enabling the government to permit any person to surrender the certificate granted under the Act.

Amendment of section 17 provides that every person who has been granted certificate or prior permission under section 12 shall receive foreign contribution only in an account designated as ”FCRA Account” which shall be opened by him in such branch of the State Bank of India at New Delhi as the government may, by notification, specify. (ANI)

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