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Faith Funds Face Punishment Law

on 2001/2/16 8:47:02 ( 1481 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, February 12, 2001: The Vajpayee government proposes to replace the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) with new legislation which will contain strict penalties to prevent anti-India and fundamentalist activities. Under the old FCRA, it is mandatory for all organizations receiving foreign funds to register with the home ministry and file returns on receipt and expenditure of foreign exchange. But there are no stiff penal clauses if any organization is found diverting money to build institutions that act as "fronts" for terrorist activities. The existing law has only a provision to cancel the organization's registration. The law scheduled to replace the 1976 Act will propose a maximum punishment of imprisonment as well as fines for such organizations. All organizations receiving foreign funds will have to register with district magistrates and submit details of the amount received and names of the donors. It has been suggested that associations operating in the border regions and religious organizations be registered anew with the home ministry. This is to keep better watch on religious organizations which receive thousands of dollars as foreign contributions which are often channelized for activities other than those the funds were actually meant for. Reports have noted the increase in mosques and madarsas (Muslim schools) in the border areas and pointed to the growing use of these by terrorist outfits.

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