One Time Opportunity to NGOs to apply for FCRA registration on filing of Annual Return  

One time opportunity to NGOs to apply for FCRA registration on filing of Annual Return where registration was cancelled For non-submission of ARs for 2017-18 

No.  II/21022/58(79)/2019-FCRA(MU)
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
Foreigners Division
FCRA (Monitoring Unit)

MDC National Stadium,
New Delhi, the 18th March, 2020

Subject:- Exemption from the provisions of section 14(3) of  The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA, 2010) – regarding

Section 18 of The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 read with rule 17 of The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 provides for submission of Annual Returns by all Associations who have been granted certificate of registration or prior permission.

2. The Central Government vide notification dated 14th December, 2015  made it mandatory for all Associations having certificate of registration or prior permission to file their Annual Returns (ARs) only in electronic format on the web portal

3. For non-submission of ARs for the year 2017-18 , FCRA registration of many Associations was cancelled under section 14 of the FCRA, 2010 .Consequent to such cancellation , the Associations are no more eligible for registration or grant of  prior permission for a period of three years from the date of cancellation of their certificate.

4. . Many NGOs/Associations are representing for review of the cancellation of their FCRA certificates explaining their circumstances that led to non-filing of Annual  Return for 2017-18. Reasons cited by them include inter-alia, (a) they depended  upon their accountant or CA firms , who somehow ignored the deadlines (b) local difficulties like floods etc. (c) mishandling of log-in/passwords by their CAs and other  functionaries . One common grievance raised by most of them is that now all FCRA process is online and in many cases the online account is operated by their CA or tax-consultant , who are not aware of the strict monitoring by the Ministry. These  Associations have submitted that they never intended to avoid statutory compliances  under the Act.

5. In view of representations made by many such Associations , and in exercise of powers conferred on central government under section 50 of the FCRA, 2010 a one­ time exemption is hereby granted  in public  interest to such  Associations  from  the restrictive condition of section 14(3) of the Act to enable them to apply for registration within 60 days from the issuance of this notice provided that  such Associations shall submit missing  ARs  electronically  on  the  FCRA  Portal  along  with  the  prescribed penalty.

(Santosh Sharma)
Director (MU-I)
Tele:  011-23077510

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