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FCRA clerance to Oxfam: India clarify laws during talks with UK | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The UK home office had last week raised with the Indian authorities the matter of Oxfam India recently being denied renewal of its registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. However, the Indian side – during the Indo-UK home affairs dialogue held via virtual mode – responded by merely explaining the procedure and systems for licence renewal under FCRA, with no indication if the decision on Oxfam India would be reviewed.
“Yes, the issue was brought up by the UK team during the virtual meeting. The Indian side apprised the UK officials about the FCRA law and procedures for renewal of licence,” a home ministry official confirmed to TOI on Monday.
The home ministry had late last year rejected the applications of Oxfam India and Oxfam India Trust for renewal of FCRA licence. Though the grounds were not made public, it is believed that the denial had to do with “adverse inputs” flagged by the intelligence agencies against Oxfam and activities that the home ministry saw out of line with FCRA provisions.
While the MHA had reconsidered rejection of FCRA renewal to organisations like the Missionaries of Charity, the Kolkata-based NGO founded by late Nobel laureate Mother Teresa, and renewed its licence after it paid the penalty for compoundable offences and filed an affidavit stating that one of its office-bearers accused in a child trafficking case was no longer on its rolls, Oxfam India and Oxfam India Trust remain in the list of organisations that are no longer registered under FCRA and thus are ineligible to receive any foreign funding.
Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar had, reacting to the MHA’s rejection of FCRA renewal, stated that it would “severely affect the organisation’s ongoing crucial humanitarian and social work in 16 states across the country”. This, as per his statement dated January 3, 2022, included setting up of oxygen plants, providing lifesaving medical and diagnostic equipment such as oxygen cylinders and ventilators and delivery of food to the most vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Oxfam India has been working in public interest with the government, communities and frontline workers in the country for decades now…. The ministry of home affairs’ decision to deny renewal of FCRA registration will severely hamper these collaborations which were providing relief to those who needed it the most during times of crisis,” said Behar.
Oxfam India is affiliated to Oxfam International, formed in 1995 by a group of independent NGOs that had joined hands to maximise efficiency and achieve greater impact to reduce global poverty and injustice, states the Oxfam International website. The name “Oxfam” comes from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Britain in 1942.

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