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Govt proposes to amend FCRA, make Aadhar mandatory for NGOs to receive foreign funds

The bill to amend the FCRA has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. It seeks to limit the use of foreign funds for administrative purposes from the current limit of 50 per cent to 20 per cent.

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The Centre on Sunday proposed amendments in the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act or FCRA through a bill it introduced in the Lok Sabha or lower house of Parliament.

According to the government, the proposed amendments “seek to streamline the provisions of the FCRA by strengthening the compliance mechanism, enhancing transparency and accountability in the receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution worth thousands of crores of rupees every year”.

The proposed amendments seek to bar public servants from receiving foreign funding.

The amendments seek to make Aadhar mandatory for all office bearers of NGOs and other organisations which are seeking foreign contributions.

The bill also seeks to limit the use of foreign funds received under FCRA for administrative purposes from the current limit of 50 per cent to 20 per cent.

“The annual inflow of foreign contribution has almost doubled between the years 2010 and 2019, but many recipients of foreign contribution have not utilised the same for the purpose for which they were registered or granted prior permission under the said Act. Many of them were also found wanting in ensuring basic statutory compliances such as submission of annual returns and maintenance of proper accounts,” according to the proposed amendment.

“This has led to a situation where the central government had to cancel certificates of registration of more than 19,000 recipient organisations, including non-governmental organisations, during the period between 2011 and 2019,” it further says.

The bill, if passed, will empower the government to ask a violator to not use the funds by holding a “summary inquiry”.

After the amendments are passed, no organisation will be able to transfer foreign contribution to any association/person under Section 7 of the FCRA.

“Every person who has been granted certificate or prior permission for foreign funding 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 Central Government may, by notification, specify and for other consequential matters relating thereto,” the proposed amendment says.

The FCRA was enacted to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies and to prohibit acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality for any activities detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The act came into force on the May 1, 2011, and has been amended twice since then. The first amendment was made by Section 236 of the Finance Act, 2016 and the second amendment was made by Section 220 of the Finance Act, 2018.

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World becoming fan of our local products: PM Modi

He added that previously there were massive fairs (melas) on the occasion of Dussehra…but in present times, they took on a different form.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Oct 25 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that since India is opting for ‘vocal for local’, many of the local Indian products have the potential of becoming globally popular and are attracting a lot of attention.

“World is becoming a fan of our local products. One such example is Khadi. Our Khadi is being known as nature friendly fabric plus its becoming a fashion statement,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the Mann Ki Baat programme.

The Prime Minister also said that Khadi has since a long time been a statement of “simplicity”. He added that the fabric has health benefits as its body-friendly and is also an all-weather fabric.

He said that on Gandhi Jayanti, the Khadi store in National capital’s Connaught Place witnessed a massive sale of Rs 1 crore.

The Prime Minister also asked the citizens to opt for local products while going out for shopping during the festive times. “When you go out to buy something during these festive times, remember the vocal for local,” he said.

“During the lockdown, we closely came to know about those members of society, without whom our lives would be miserable. Sanitation workers, brothers and sisters working as domestic helps, local vegetable vendors, milkmen, security guards….we have now felt the significance of their roles in our lives in a better way,” the PM said.

The PM said that during this crisis, these people were with us, now during the festivities, we shall make these people a part of our celebrations.

“I earnestly urge you to ensure, in whatever way, in making them a part of your celebrations. Treat them as members of your own family…you will see for yourself how your joy rises by leaps and bounds,” PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister also wished the nation on the occasion of Vijay Dashmi or Dusshera. “On this auspicious occasion, heartiest greetings to all of you. The festival of Dussehra is one of the triumph of truth over untruth. But, simultaneously, it is also the festival of victory of patience over crises,” he said.

“Today, all of you are carrying on with immense patience, celebrating the festival with restraint…and hence, in our ongoing fight, our victory too is assured, he said.

He added that previously there were massive fairs (melas) on the occasion of Dussehra…but in present times, they took on a different form.

The festival of Ramleela too was one of its major attractions….but now, that too has been restricted to some extent. Earlier during Navratra, the notes of Garba of Gujarat would reverberate all over….this time all grand events have been curtailed. Many more festivals are on the way in the days to come, he said.

The Prime Minister also asked the Indian citizens to think of the braveheart soldiers who are firmly stationed on our borders in line of duty. “Even during these festive time, all in service, security of Mother India. We have to light a lamp at home in honour of these brave sons, daughters of Mother India,” he said.

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Tata Motors reaches 4 mn passenger vehicle production milestone

As of today, its ‘New Forever BS6’ range consists of the Tiago, Tigor, Nexon, Harrier and the Altroz.

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Ratan Tata

Mumbai: Automobile major Tata Motors has achieved the production milestone of 4 million passenger vehicles in India since its inception.

“Over the years, Tata Motors has produced legendary vehicles like the Indica, Sierra, Sumo, Safari and the Nano that have played a pivotal role in the shaping the country in its post-economic liberalisation era,” the company said in a statement on Saturday.

“These iconic vehicles have broken barriers across categories in the Indian automobile sector. With the launch of the Tata Safari, the company pioneered the concept of a ‘lifestyle SUV’ to the industry, thereby creating the most aspirational four-wheeler for its customers.”

The company had also introduced the first ever MPV in Tata Sumo.

In the more recent past, Tata Motors launched the entry level car and the compact SUV segment with the rollout of the Tiago and the Nexon, respectively.

“Tata Motors is also India’s largest EV manufacturer with 67 per cent market share and leading the way on electric vehicle adoption in India,” the statement said.

“The company had achieved the 1 million production mark for passenger vehicles in 2005-06, 3 million in 2015 and the 4 million production milestone was achieved this month.”

As of today, its ‘New Forever BS6’ range consists of the Tiago, Tigor, Nexon, Harrier and the Altroz.

Besides, Tata Motors has been India’s first car manufacturer to have received a 5-star Global NCAP rating for its model, the Nexon.

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Hotel industry’s recovery to pre-Covid levels profits 3 yrs away: ICRA

“This will keep revenues moderated, resulting in operating losses and stretched debt metrics during FY2021 and FY2022.”

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Park Hotel Delhi

New Delhi, Oct 24 : The Indian hotel industry’s recovery to pre-Covid levels profits is at least three years away, ratings agency ICRA has said.

The ratings agency said that road ahead for the industry is rough as revenues and margins are expected to post record decline in FY21 with losses mounting over the next two years.

The hotel industry has witnessed one of the worst revenue declines, in Q1FY21, with revenues for the industry sample declining by 85 per cent.

“Given the high operating and financial leverage in the industry, the revenue decline led to huge operating and net losses in Q1 FY2021 despite the extensive cost-cutting measures adopted by most entities in the industry,” ICRA said in a statement.

“Despite sharp weakening in interest coverage, recourse to the RBI provided moratorium on debt servicing as part of its Covid relief package announced in March 2020 supported the industry.”

As per the statement, about 66 per cent of ICRA’s hospitality portfolio applied for moratorium under this scheme and several of these will apply for restructuring under the K.V. Kamath committee too.

“Although hotels have been gradually allowed to reopen, occupancies have remained subdued in H1FY2021,” the statement said.

“This will keep revenues moderated, resulting in operating losses and stretched debt metrics during FY2021 and FY2022.”

The industry has reported a 2.7 per cent de-growth in topline with flat operating margins at 22 per cent in FY2020.

“With an 85 per cent YoY decline witnessed in revenues in Q1 FY2021 and subdued occupancies witnessed in Q2 FY2021 as well, industry wide revenues are expected to witness sharp de-growth of 60-65 per cent for FY2021,” ICRA said.

“Despite several measures taken by the companies to variabilise the fixed costs, the industry is likely to report massive operating and net losses in FY2021.”

–IANS

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