In a recent development, the Union Home Ministry has revoked the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license of the Tamil Nadu Social Service Society (TASOSS), a Christian NGO operating under the umbrella of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Tamil Nadu. This decision comes in the wake of allegations of regulatory violations.
The FCRA licence is essential for organisations to receive foreign funding, and TASOSS’s registration under this act has been cancelled due to reported violations. The Ministry’s order underscores concerns regarding regulatory compliance and adherence to FCRA guidelines.
TASOSS, primarily engaged in activities related to justice, peace, and sustainable development, is the second Christian association based in Tamil Nadu to face such action this year. The cancellation of its FCRA registration follows a string of regulatory actions against NGOs across the country.
According to sources, the decision to cancel TASOSS’s FCRA licence was based on findings of non-compliance with regulatory norms. The organisation, as per its official website, is an integral part of the Tamil Nadu Catholic Bishops Conference, indicating its significant role within the Christian community in the state.
After World Vision India, MHA cancels the FCRA registration of a TN based Christian organisation — Tamil Nadu Social Service Society (TASOSS).
The NGO is an official organisation of the Tamil Nadu Catholic Bishops Conference. I report https://t.co/TCv0PW7E9h
— Vijaita Singh (@vijaita) February 4, 2024
Since 2015, the FCRA registration of more than 16,000 NGOs has been cancelled on account of “violation”. As of February 3, there were 17,019 FCRA-registered NGOs active in the country – reports @vijaita https://t.co/ZkAUvb05Zz
— Geeta Mohan گیتا موہن गीता मोहन (@Geeta_Mohan) February 4, 2024
Father Devasagaya Raj of the Archdiocese of Cuddalore-Pondicherry has expressed concerns about the adverse effects on the impoverished when non-governmental organizations (NGOs) face restrictions. His remarks come in the wake of the Union government’s cancellation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of the Tamil Nadu Social Service Society (TASOSS).
The cancellation of TASOSS’s registration coincides with the appointment of a Dalit priest as the new director, posing immediate challenges as he navigates the fallout from the FCRA cancellation.
This action follows the revocation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) registration of World Vision India (WVI), a prominent NGO functioning in India for over 70 years. WVI, affiliated with the US-based World Vision, operates as one of the largest Christian voluntary groups globally.
Prior to WVI, the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), a New Delhi-based public policy think tank, also faced the loss of its FCRA registration.
— CPR India (@CPR_India) January 17, 2024
Within a year of the BJP-led government taking office in Delhi, more than 16,000 NGOs have had their Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) registrations cancelled for rule violations since 2015. The Union Home Ministry, as of February 3 this year, reported 17,019 active NGOs with Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registrations in India. Nearly 6,000 NGOs saw their FERA registrations become inoperative from January 1, 2022, as the Home Ministry either rejected their renewal applications or the NGOs failed to apply. Critics anticipate that this revocation may curb the circulation of black money in the film industry, particularly in projects criticised for negatively portraying Hindus, Hindutva, and Hinduism.