Union Home Minister launched revamped website for FCRA Services
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh today launched the new revamped website in order to substantially improve upon the existing services for Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules (FCRA) under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Shri Rajnath Singh hoped that the new initiative will offer the genuine applicants seamless services of FCRA with adequate ease and facilitation. Simultaneously, the amended rules (Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2015) are also being notified.
The Union Home Minister said that the launch will make all services being offered under FCRA, 2010 online reducing human interface to minimum. All kinds of application forms can be filled online, documents can be uploaded online and even payment of fee etc. can be made online. All types of queries and replies to the applicants will be made through emails. Even digitally signed Registration Certificates, Prior Permission sanctions, etc. will be issued to the applicants through emails.
Various details of changes being introduced are given as below:-
• All FCRA services are made online and human interface has been reduced to minimum
• Applications for registration, prior permission and renewal of registration under FCRA, 2010 will be accepted online
• All documents with the application will be uploaded online
• All intimations will be required under FCRA, 2010 including annual returns accepted online
• Fee for various services will be paid through payment gateway
• The condition of applying for renewal one year before the expiry of existing registration certificate for associations implementing multi-year project is removed
• To make the receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution by association transparent, associations are required to place the annual returns and such data quarterly on their website or website as prescribed by the Central Govt.
• All FCRA designated bank accounts and Utilisation Accounts will have to be brought on the online platform of Public Finance Management Service (PFMS) of Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance.
• Certificate of registration/ renewal and grant of prior permission will be sent online and digitally signed.
• All queries with the applicant will be made through e-mail/ Messaging Services
• Simplification of various forms and application procedure has been done.
• Number of application/ intimation forms reduced from 10 (ten) to 6 (six)
• Number of documents to be attached with applications has been significantly reduced.
• Filing hard copy of annual return has been dispensed with
• The condition of submission of certificate from Chartered Accountant and audited statement of accounts with Annual Return is removed in respect of associations who do not receive or utilise foreign contribution in a financial year • Requirement of seeking prior permission for change of name, aims & objects, address of the association, change of bank/ account, change in Governing Body members, etc. is now relaxed to only intimation through FCRA online service
• List of purposes for which foreign contribution can be utilised rationalised and reduced as per the FCRA, 2010
• The periodicity for uploading the details of foreign contribution received and utilised by the associations on their website or the FCRA Website will be kept as three months.
• Information regarding facebook page, twitter handle of the office bearers of the associations is optional.
• Information regarding facebook page, twitter handle and other personal details of the office bearers of the donor organisation is also optional.
• Seeking details of functionaries of the association in annual return has been dropped.
• Declaration and undertaking in the application for registration, prior permission and renewal, and also in annual return has been simplified
Earlier, it may be recalled that the ‘Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization’ (TVoA-ETA) was another initiative by the Ministry of Home Affairs launched on November 27, 2014 to facilitate the travel of foreign nationals to India. Its name was changed to e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) on April 15, 2015.