Oxfam India's FCRA registration renewal was rejected two years ago, and now the MHA has recommended a CBI inquiry into alleged FCRA violations by the non-profit organization.
According to the report, Oxfam India was registered under FCRA, 2010 until 31 December 2021 for social activities. MHA allegedly found major violations and referred to CBI for legal action.
“The MHA found that Oxfam India continued to transfer foreign contributions to various entities even after coming into force of the FCRA, 2020 which prohibits such transfers. The amendment came into force on September 29, 2020 and Oxfam India transferred funds to other NGOs, violating provisions of the FCRA, 2010,” stated the report.
Last year, the Income Tax Department conducted a “survey” on the premises of Oxfam India. “From emails, found during an IT survey by the CBDT, it is revealed that Oxfam India was planning to circumvent provision of the FCRA, 2010 by routing funds to other FCRA registered associations or through the for-profit consultancy route.
"IT survey by the CBDT also exposed Oxfam India as a probable instrument of foreign policy of foreign organisations/entities which have funded Oxfam India liberally over the years,” the source said.
“Oxfam India received foreign contributions amounting to around Rs 1.50 crore directly into its FC utilization account instead of receiving foreign contributions in designated FCRA accounts,” the report added.
According to sources, states The Indian Express, Oxfam India allegedly provided funds to the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) by paying commissions through associates or employees. This is supported by TDS data which shows a payment of Rs 12,71,188 made to CPR in the financial year 2019-20 under section 194J.
In recent legal proceedings, Oxfam India has sought a renewal of its registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010. The Delhi High Court asked for the Centre's stance on this matter on February 13, following the rejection of Oxfam India's application by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on December 22, 2021.
Oxfam India had filed a revision petition against this decision, which prompted the court to direct the Centre to provide a reasoned speaking order. However, the Centre ultimately denied their plea, rejecting Oxfam India's revision application on December 1, 2022. The organization's work focuses on human development and poverty reduction in India, according to the plea.
For the second time in a month, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has suggested that the CBI open an investigation. Earlier in March, the MHA had also proposed a CBI inquiry into the NGO Aman Biradari, founded by human rights activist Harsh Mander, for alleged mismanagement of foreign funds.
According to Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, almost 1,827 associations had their FCRA registration certificates revoked for violating the Act and its rules between 2018 and 2022. This was revealed during a Rajya Sabha meeting last month.
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