The Indian government has restored the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license of the Missionaries of Charity (MC), clearing the religious congregation founded by Mother Teresa of Kolkata to receive and utilize foreign funds.
A report on Vatican News said the turnaround by the Ministry of Home Affairs came on January 7, less than a fortnight after it declined to renew the license of the religious congregation of nuns, which is registered with the Indian government as MoC.
In an official statement on December 27, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs said that “while considering the MoC’s renewal application, some adverse inputs were noticed.”
“In consideration of these inputs on record, the renewal application of MoC was not approved,” said Amit Shah, head of the ministry, in a statement quoted by Vatican News.
The FCRA, first enacted in 1976, regulates foreign donations and ensures that contributions do not adversely affect the sovereignty, integrity and internal security of India or impact friendly relations with any foreign state and does not disrupt communal harmony.
Applicable to all associations, groups and NGOs that intend to receive foreign donations for social, educational, religious, economic and cultural purposes, it was amended in 2010 and 2015 with a slew of measures.
The FCRA registration is valid for five years and can be renewed subsequently if the institution complies with all norms. Filing of annual returns in line with income tax rules is compulsory.
Sister Dorothy Fernandes, national secretary of the Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace, an advocacy group for Catholic religious, said the restoration of the license is “welcome news.”
“If there is anyone serving selflessly the most unwanted of our society it’s the Missionaries of Charity Sisters and Brothers,” said the nun in a report on Matters India.