U.S.-based Christian organization welcomes India extending validity of foreign contribution registration

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The Federation of Indian American Christian Associations of North America (FIACONA), an advocacy organization with the goal of  defending the religious freedom of Christian religious minorities in India, welcomed New Delhi’s decision to extend the validity of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) certification to charitable organizations until September 30 2021.  It expired on September 29, 2020.

Another order issued by the government May 20, 2021,  extends the deadline for mandatory opening of a new bank account by these NGOs at a particular branch of the State Bank of India in Delhi, from March 31 2021 to June 30, 2021.

“FIACONA recognizes that these are welcome changes. These measures will help several NGOs to continue their much-needed service during this pandemic at least for one more month,” the organization said in a press release.

“We agree that NGOs should maintain good bookkeeping practices, but the government should not burden them with a heavy hand and unnecessary red tape which could essentially force them to shut down their operations,” FIACONA said, urging New Delhi to recognize the humanitarian work done by the NGOs and encourage them to carry out their charitable operations intended to help millions of deserving people in India.

On May 16, FIACONA accused the Government of India of hampering the efforts of non-governmental agencies by imposing “unnecessary regulations” restricting their operations.

“Creating a bottleneck by having all the NGOs open an account in a branch in Delhi is an undue burden on many NGOs especially the smaller ones that are located very far from Delhi,” FIACONA noted in its press release.

“FIACONA urged the Indian government to lift the restrictions for at least 12 months and sought help from the US Administration,” the organization said thanking those who supported its effort.

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