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NGO Employees Now Need To Make Pledge On Religious Conversion For Foreign Funds

BP World Bureau | Sep 17 2019 02:29:07 PM

Union Home Ministry has rolled out new rules to increase the scrutiny over the NGOs over foreign funding.

According to the new rules by the Narendra Modi govt, the NGOS must ensure that their employees and officials declare to the government that they were not prosecuted or convicted for religious conversions. This rule has to be followed for NGOs to receive foreign funding.

The government announced the fresh changes to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules 2011 in a notification on Monday. The new rules include clause that says that individuals need not declare personal gifts worth up to Rs. 1 lakh anymore. Earlier a declaration needed to be made on gifts valued at more than Rs. 25,000.

The government notification makes it mandatory for "office bearers and key functionaries and members" of an NGO to certify that they have not been "prosecuted or convicted" for "conversion" from one faith to another and for creating "communal tension and disharmony".

In the past, only directors or the top official seeking permission to receive foreign funds were required to make such a declaration.

Also, from now on, not just the applicant but every member of the NGO must pledge that they have never been involved in "diverting" foreign funds or propagating "sedition" or "advocating violent means".

The new rules also says that in case of any medical emergency during a visit abroad, the government has to be informed about foreign hospitality to an NGO member within a month. The member has to give details like the source of funds, the approximate value in Indian rupees, the purpose and the manner in which the money was used.

In the past, these details could be furnished within two months.