The cancellation of FCRA certificates of 8975 NGOs by the Union Home Ministry made front page news. But this is not the first time such massive cancellations happened. According to the data available with the Ministry of Home Affairs, FCRA certificates of 4138 NGOs were cancelled for violation of FCRA act & rules (failure to submit annual reports) in 2012. The USA, UK & Germany have remained the top donor countries while Delhi, Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh are the top receipient states.
In an order dated 06th April, 2015, the Union Home Ministry cancelled the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) certificate of 8975 organizations (NGOs) for violating Section 18 of the FCRA act. According to the FCRA act 2010 and the subsequent rules, any NGO that receives foreign funding after obtaining the FCRA clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is supposed to file mandatory annual return within 9 months of the closure of the financial year. The government in the order said that notices have been issued to 10343 organizations for failing to submit annual reports for the period 2009-10, 2010-11 & 2011-12. Out of this, only 229 organizations sent a reply and hence the FCRA certificate of 8975 organizations stands cancelled.
The state wise and organization wise list of these 8975 organizations is not available yet. Though there may be allegations of witch hunt by the government, nothing can be said unless the list is out. From the data available with the MHA, this is not the only time that cancellation of FCRA certificates took place at such a massive scale. In 2011-12, a total of 4138 FCRA certificates were also cancelled during the UPA government for similar violations.
Non Submission of Annual Returns
It is clear from the data available with the MHA that a large number of NGOs fail to submit their annual returns as mandated by the FCRA act and the rules. As of December, 2014, a total of 10,343 NGOs have not filed annual returns for any of the financial years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 and notices have been issued to them. This number stands at 22037 for the year 2012-13 and 32248 for the year 2013-14.
Since 2008-09, contributions under the FCRA came from more than 100 donor countries. The top three in every financial year since then have been the USA, UK & Germany. While the donors from USA have contributed more than Rs 3000 crore every financial year, donors from UK & Germany have contributed more than 1000 crore every financial year. The data for 2013-14 is only partially available. In this period, there was 100 rupee contribution from Uzbekistan, 1000 rupee contributions from Palestine, Paraguay & Maldives.
States that received Maximum Contribution
From the data available with the MHA, Delhi, Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh (Including Telangana) has received the maximum contribution each year in that order. Delhi topped the list with almost 2000 crore rupees each year followed by Tamil Nadu with more than 1500 crore rupees followed by Andhra Pradesh with more than 1000 crore rupees each year. Incidentally, these three states figure in the top in the number of cancellations in 2012.
FCRA Certificate Cancellation in 2012
In 2012, a total 4138 NGOs had their FCRA license cancelled because of similar violations. Tamil Nadu topped the list with 794 such NGOs followed by Andhra Pradesh with 670 such NGOs. Kerala was third with 450 such NGOs. In Delhi, 299 such NGOs had their licenses cancelled.