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NEW DELHI: The government has allowed a Taiwan-based NGO with a chapter in Gujarat to receive foreign donations under ‘prior permission’ category of Foreign Contribution Registration Act (FCRA). The development comes at a time when India has heightened vigil over funds coming from China, Hong Kong and its neighbouring countries, in the wake of Covid-19 and border stalemate.

The NGO, named after Vietnamese spiritual leader Ching Hai, is based out of Taiwan with presence across the globe, including India. Speaking to ET over phone, Dhiraj Radadiya, a member of the trust, said, “For the past 2-3 years, we have been applying but were being denied FCRA clearance. This time we got the approval.”

The group runs several publications, internet TV, celestial shop and vegan food chain Loving Hut. Ahome ministry official said: “The NGO was not eligible for FCRA licence since it was in the formative stage. NGOs can only apply for FCRA after 3years of inception.” The official added that the NGO could not accept funds under PP category and had to seek clearance from the home ministry each time.

Under the FCRA rules, the trust seeking prior permission is required to provide a specific commitment letter from the donor indicating the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is proposed to be given.

In a recent amendment into the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules (FCRR), MHA made it mandatory for all office-bearers of an NGO or organisation to file an affidavit declaring that they have not been involved in religious conversion or prosecution in communal riot cases, among others.

Earlier, MHA cancelled licences of several NGOs, including that of Teesta Setalvad’s. Setalvad is facing a CBI probe for receiving foreign contributions from Ford Foundation.

Other NGOs, including Greenpeace and Ford Foundation, also had come under the Union home ministry’s scanner for violating the provision of FCRA, following which Greenpeace’s FCRA account was cancelled.

The FCRA licence of senior advocate Indira Jaising‘s NGO, Lawyers Collective, was suspended for alleged violations.

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