The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) Amendment Act, 2020 – a Ready Reckoner
Background and Context
The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act has its origins in 1976 during the Emergency. It was essentially meant to keep a check on foreign influence in social, political, economic, and religious discussions in India.
The 1976 Act allowed non-profits to freely receive foreign donations, although they were required to report the amount received and spent each year. In 1984, the law was made stricter by making it mandatory for non-profits to register before receiving any foreign donations. They could also not pass on that money to other non-profits who were not registered.
In 2010, the 1976 Act was repealed and replaced by an even stricter law – Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (2010 Act) along with the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 (2011 Rules) read with and other notification / orders etc., issued thereunder from time to time.
Recent Amendments under the FCRA Amendment Act, 2020
On 20th September, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 (2020 Amendments) was introduced in Lok Sabha that broadly redefined terms related to acceptance, transfer, and utilisation of foreign contributions under the 2010 Act. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on 21st September and subsequently by Rajya Sabha on 23rd to ratify it.
We have created a ready reckoner for corporates, funders and non-profits that breaks down some of the key questions and implications of the amendments.
Disclaimer: This document is an interpretation of the recent amendments to the Act and its implications. It is not a legal document.
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