The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed all NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010, to open or maintain an FCRA account in State Bank of India’s New Delhi main branch at Sansad Marg, for exclusively receiving all foreign contributions.

In September the Parliament has amended the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2020 and added a new provision which makes it compulsory for all non-government organisations and associations to receive foreign funds in a designated bank account at SBI’s New Delhi branch.

The order said an NGO would have to report the amount and source of foreign remittance received to the authorities. It also added that the Centre had notified the New Delhi Main Branch (NDMB) of SBI, 11 Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110001 for the purposes of opening the “FCRA account” to receive foreign contribution.

The government said to open the account, the applicant need not visit the NDMB in Delhi and they might approach the nearest SBI branch or their SBI branch of choice.

It further said that all persons/associations/NGOs who were already registered under FCRA will get sufficient time to transition to the new system and can open accounts at NDMB till March 31, 2021.

The order also said, “However, all fresh applicants for certificate of registration or prior permission under the FCRA, 2010, shall have to first open the FCRA account in the NDMB to receive any foreign contribution.”

The Central Government also clarified that the NDMB will not levy any fee to transfer the foreign funds to the designated FCRA account. “It is further clarified that the applicant person/NGO/ association has complete liberty to retain its present FCRA account as the another FCRA account in any branch of a scheduled bank of its choice. They can link this account with the designated FCRA account opened in NDMB, Delhi.”

The government also notified that NGOs registered under FCRA shall not receive any foreign donations in any other bank account from April 1, 2021.

With Warm Regards,

CL Bureau.

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