Online Registration of FCRA mandatory

The Ministry of Home Affairs (“MHA”), has vide a circular dated 14th December 2015 (“circular”) made major changes in the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (“FCRA”) to offer seamless services to the applicants. The highlights are detailed below:

  1. All kinds of application forms to be mandatorily filled online, documents to be uploaded online and fees for various services to be paid through payment gateway;
  2. All types of queries and replies to the applicants will be made through emails and digitally signed registration certificates, prior permission sanctions, etc. will be issued to the applicants through emails;
  3. Organizations that have been granted certificate of registration on or before 1st May 2011 under FCRA are required to file afresh online application for renewal of Registration. The last date for filing of renewal application has been extended to 15th March 2016;
  4. Organizations who have submitted the application in old form as well as made payment and whose names appear in the list annexed with the circular are only required to fill the online form but shall not be required to make payment as it has already been credited to the FCRA account;
  5. Organizations are required to place the annual returns and data foreign contribution received on a regular quarterly basis on their website or a  website as prescribed by the Central Government;
  6. Seeking details of functionaries of the association in annual return has been dispensed with &
  7. Banks to report to the Central Government within 48hours any transaction in respect of receipt of foreign contribution

Additionally there are other major changes in the various FCRA forms and online filing requirements to make the receipt and utilization of foreign contribution by such organizations transparent.

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