MHA Refuses to Reveal Why FCRA Was Amended, Even as Changes Impair NGOs’ COVID Aid Efforts
Even as non-government organisations (NGOs) face severe fund shortages due to changes in the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) effected by the Centre last year – which has adversely impacted their ability to reach out to the poor and marginalised in both rural and urban areas during the second wave of the coronavirus in India – the Centre has repeatedly thwarted attempts by Right to Information (RTI) activists to access details surrounding the reasons why the Act was amended.
The Wire had last year reported that leading NGOs believed that changes to the FCRA would deal a crushing blow to the voluntary sector and impact its ability to collaborate and conduct research.
They argued that the changes effected through the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 would severely impact collaborative research in critical fields in India as organisations receiving foreign funds will no longer be able to transfer them to smaller NGOs working at the grassroots level.
They also said the Bill would initially impact the livelihoods of workers associated with these small NGOs and ultimately lead to the “killing” of the entire sector as caps on administrative expenses would make it impossible for even the bigger NGOs to perform.