Centre cancels FCRA registration of NGO Centre for Financial Accountability that works on environment, human rights 

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday cancelled the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of the parent entity of the non-profit Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), which monitors and critically analyses the role of financial institutions and their impact on development, human rights, and the environment. 

In a recent report, the CFA had highlighted how additional projects sanctioned in a Special Economic Zone operated by the Adani Group in the Kutch region of Gujarat “will compound environmental hazards and increase the health risks for the people while further polluting the environment and accelerating degradation of the ecology.”

In December 2023, the CFA organised an online meeting with the All-India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) to discuss the issues faced by public sector banks and the road ahead.

Speaking with The Hindu, Joe Athialy, Executive Director, CFA said they were yet to receive the orders cancelling the FCRA registration of CACIM (India Institute for Critical Action Centre in Movement), but they had been informed online. CFA is one of the projects of CACIM. 

‘Just an excuse’

“We have been told that the cancellation is due to the incorrect filings [of return] of financial years 2018 and 2019. This may be just an excuse, as they had all the years to ask us to rectify the mistakes. We certainly believe that the work we did has contributed to this action,” Mr. Athialy said. 

He said the government wanted to throttle the organisations that were critical of its work. 

“We are not going to get bogged down by such actions. We will continue our work. We recognise that the government wanted to throttle our work. We will find innovative ways to carry forward our work, which includes domestic donations. There is a life beyond FCRA,” he said.

Earlier in January, the MHA cancelled the FCRA registration of Centre for Policy Research (CPR), a leading public policy research institution in New Delhi.

Since 2015, the FCRA registration of more than 16,000 NGOs have been cancelled on account of “violation.” As on Wednesday, there were 15,946 FCRA-registered NGOs active in the country. The FCRA registration of nearly 6,000 NGOs had ceased to operate from January 1, 2022 as the MHA either refused to renew their application or the NGOs did not apply for renewal. 

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