Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) was enacted in the year 1976 with the prime objective of regulating the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution and foreign hospitality by associations and persons working in the important areas of national life. The focus of this Act is to ensure that the foreign contribution and foreign hospitality is not utilized to affect electoral politics, public servants, judges and other people working the important areas of national life like journalists, printers and publishers of newspapers, etc.
The organizations seeking foreign contributions for definite cultural, social, economic, educational or religious programmes may either obtain registration to receive foreign contribution from Ministry of Home Affairs by making application in the prescribed format and furnishing details of the activities and audited accounts. The FCRA registration is granted only to such association, which has proven track record of functioning in the chosen field of work during last three years, and after registration, such organization is free to receive foreign contribution from any foreign source for stated objectives. The FCRA registration is granted thorough security vetting of the activities and antecedents of the organization and office bearers thereof. On the other hand, such organizations which are newly established and do not have proven track record of functioning may also receive foreign contribution for specific activities, for a specific purpose from a specific source after seeking project based previous permission (PP) from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
FCRA Registration Procedure
Application for registration under FCRA can be filed any time after registration of the organization, but the organization with a considerable past history of activities have a greater chance of convincing the FCRA authorities with regard to genuineness and the relevance of their purpose. Organizations desirous of registering themselves with the FCRA department are required to apply in form FC 8 along with various documents. The FCRA department may ask the intelligence bureau for a report on which FCRA department decides whether to accept or reject the application. The FCRA department issues a registration certificate and provides a permanent registration number, which is required to be quoted in all future correspondence and filing of returns and forms. Under certain circumstances application for registration will be refused if it affects the sovereignty and integrity of India.