Saint Teresa's Missionaries of Charity Loses Indian License to Receive Funds From Abroad
18:19 GMT 27.12.2021 (Updated: 10:41 GMT 19.07.2022)
Non-government organisations have accused the Narendra Modi government of aggressively using the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) to muzzle voices related to human rights and environmental concerns. More than 15,000 organisations, mostly foreign-funded, have lost their registration in India amid the stricter FCRA since 2015.
India has refused to renew the FCRA license of the Missionaries of Charity
, a Catholic congregation established by Mother Teresa in 1950, after it received adverse inputs. An FCRA license is necessary for any organisation to receive donations from abroad.
In a statement, the Indian Home Ministry said that the state-owned State Bank of India had also frozen bank accounts at the charity's request.
"While considering the Missionaries of Charity's (MoC) renewal application, some adverse inputs were noticed. In consideration of these inputs on record, the renewal application of MoC was not approved", the ministry said on Monday.
The Charity clarified on Monday evening that the FCRA registration of the organisation had neither been suspended nor cancelled.
"We have been informed that our FCRA renewal application has not been approved. Therefore, as a measure to ensure there is no lapse, we have asked our centres not to operate any of the FC (Foreign Currency) accounts until the matter is resolved", the Missionaries of Charity said.
Earlier in the day, Mamata Banerjee, state chief of West Bengal, accused the federal government of blocking the MoC's bank accounts, leaving 22,000 patients and employees without food and medicines.
So far in 2021, the Narendra Modi government has revoked the FCRA licenses of at least 10 organisations, including Christian evangelist groups
and Islamic charities, citing violations of the rules.
Nityanand Rai, India's minister of state for home, said on 21 December that the ministry had received complaints against 18 FCRA registered associations regarding alleged indulgence in conversion to Christianity.
The FCRA, 2010 provides a legal mechanism to deal with violations of FCRA provisions. The mechanism includes audits of accounts of NGOs, inspections of their accounts and records, verification of their on-field activities, and so on.