Question-1: The FCRA rules have been misused to quell dissent against the government. Explain measures for increasing transparency in FCRA registration.
Answer: The Foreign Contributions Regulations Act is a parliamentary law to control inflow of foreign funds in the country. The law was first introduced in 1976 to keep foreign forces from interfering in Indian politics. The law was recently amended to tighten donation from foreign sources.
Misuse of FCRA
- The government of the day has been indulged in regulating funding of NGOs to tackle dissent against government policies and rules.
- Environmental groups human rights NGOs fighting against violations have been targeted. Groups like Greenpeace and Amnesty international have been at the receiving end.
Need for controlling Foreign funding
- Anti-national activities
Many NGOs have used their status to obtain funding from foreign sources to carry out anti national activities. They have acted as sympathisers of several secessionist groups.
Ex: NGOs protesting against Kudankulam project.
Many NGOs use foreign funding route to carry out hawala transactions. The money brought as donations may be black money.
Measures for increasing transparency
- Transparent evaluation process
The registration for FCRA must be made transparent so that applicants will know status of their application and reasons for rejection.
- Judicial intervention
Judiciary must have more powers to decide if FCRA registration must be continued or suspended. This will instil confidence in the law.
Thus, FCRA law must act as a measure to prevent terror funding and black money transfer instead of a move to settle political scores.
Tags: GS 2 ( Polity and Governance)