The ministry of home affairs has issued notices to 3,292 NGOs/associations including Delhi University, JNU, IGNOU, IIT Madras and others asking them to submit their annual returns from 2011-12 to 2016-17 within the next 15 days or face cancellation of licence under FCRA 2010.
The ministry told the NGOs and institutes in a notice that after scrutiny of records for 2011-12 to 2016-17, it has been observed that the mandatory annual returns/accounts for some of the financial years in the said period have not been found uploaded on the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act portal despite several opportunities were given to them to do so.
According to the rule, those NGOs/organisations which do not receive funds from foreign countries are also required to furnish a ‘nil’ return for the respective financial years.
The ministry has issued these notices while stating, “If you failed to submit any of the missing return(s) within this time period (2011-12 to 2016-17), appropriate action under the section 14 (cancellation) of the FCRA, 2010 would be initiated against your association for the said violation,” stated the order.
Some of the associations/NGOs which have been sent notices this week include prominent higher education institutions like University of Delhi, JNU, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), IIT Madras, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) Delhi, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) among others.
“The status of submission of mandatory annual return will be reviewed after 15 days of issue of this notice (electronically/physically) in respect of your association, being dispatched to your known addresses. If you fail to submit any of the missing return(s) within this period, appropriate action under Section 10 of the FCRA, 2010 would be initiated against your association for the said violation,” it said.
No organisation is allowed to receive funds from abroad unless it is registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). It is mandatory under the law for such organisations to submit income and expenditure statement to the government annually else their registration is cancelled.
According to the FCRA, the renewal of registration for receiving foreign funds cannot be granted unless the annual returns are uploaded on the FCRA website by the organisation.
Meanwhile, a senior IIT Delhi official said, “We have been pointing this out every year that there are procedural lapses in issuing notices on the FCRA licenses as far as IITs are concerned. We are exempted from registration under the FCRA as IITs are set up through an Act of Parliament and are audited by the CAG.”