NGOs now have to open and maintain a FCRA account in (SBI) State Bank of India’s New Delhi main branch at Sansad Marg, in order to receive all foreign contributions exclusively. It must compulsory required by a NGOs to open FCRA account by 31st March 2021.
FCRA regulates foreign donations and ensures that such contributions do not adversely affect the internal security of the country. All NGOs required to register under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010 to receive foreign donations/contributions.
Key Highlights of Opening FCRA Account at SBI
Read our article:How FCRA Registration Makes Foreign Contributions Process Hassle-Free for NGOs?
NGOs to open FCRA Account by 2021 after an Amendment
The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2020 (FCRA) was amended by Parliament in the month of September. The new provision makes it mandatory for all non-government organisations (NGOs) and associations to receive foreign funds in a designated bank account at SBI’s New Delhi branch.
Following has been stated in an order passed for NGOs to open FCRA account
- The order stated that NGOs have to report to the authorities about an amount and source of foreign remittance received by them.
- The order also stated that for the purposes of receiving foreign contribution the NGOs must open an FCRA account in New Delhi Main Branch (NDMB) of SBI, 11 Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110001
- The government asked NGOs to open FCRA account so an applicant does not require visiting to NDMB (New Delhi Main branch) in Delhi. They might approach to any nearest SBI branch of their choice.
- The order also has stated all fresh applicants require obtaining FCRA registration certificate or prior permission under FCRA. In regard to this they first have to open the FCRA account in New Delhi Main branch for receiving any foreign contribution.
- The government has also asked that NGOs registered under FCRA shall not receive any foreign donations in any other bank account with effect from April 1, 2021.
- The government said that the New Delhi Main branch will not levy any fee for transferring the foreign funds to the designated FCRA account.
- It has been further clarified that an applicant person/NGO/ association has complete liberty to retain its present FCRA account as another FCRA account in other branches of a scheduled bank of their choice. They can link an account with the designated FCRA account opened in New Delhi Main branch.
The FCRA Act, first enacted in 1976 was amended in year 2010 in order to take the new measures by the Home Ministry to regulate foreign donations. However, again the Lok Sabha passed Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 on 21 September with some new changes. The order specifying the process of opening the FCRA bank account was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Presently, there are 22,434 such NGOs and associations active under the FCRA.
Read our article:What is the process to get FCRA registration?FCRA-Account-_notice_13102020