Amidst severe brouhaha from the Opposition, the Lok Sabha on September 21 passed the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2020 by voice vote. Defending the amendments to the regulation, BJP MP SP Singh said in Parliament that there are government and intelligence reports that confirm how insurgency has increased in the northeastern region of the country through money received under the FCRA.
We know what happened in northeast, how things changed there in last 50 yrs & a particular religion rose. There’s govt & intelligence report that how insurgency increased there with money under FCRA: SP Singh, BJP while discussing Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill pic.twitter.com/pyNlghib6R— ANI (@ANI) September 21, 2020
During the debate in the Parliament, the BJP MP alluded that cases of forced conversions have been on the rise in the Northeast as the Christian missionaries have, over a period of time, systematically lured and coerce the gullible tribals into religious conversion by utilising the unrestricted foreign aids received by them under the FCRA. “We know what happened in the northeast, how things changed there over the past 50 years and a particular religion became prominent,” said BJP leader SP Singh.
SP Singh went on to add, “There was uproar over Graham Staines. What happened to him and his 2 children was wrong. But CBI, Odisha Crime Branch and Justice DP Wadhwa Commission probe concluded that tribals were being converted there. It was the biggest reason that people turned against him.” Graham Staines was a Christian missionary who was murdered in Odisha by a mob allegedly for his conversion activities.
MHA suspends FCRA licences of 13 NGOs
It is pertinent to note here that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has suspended the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) licences of 13 NGOs after allegations were raised against them for indulging in forced religious conversions of tribals to Christianity in tribal-dominated areas. The MHA had also frozen the bank accounts of these NGOs after intelligence inputs pointed out their conversion-related activities targeting the tribal areas of several states, including Jharkhand and Manipur.
Bill proposed to bring more transparency and accountability in the functioning of NGOs
Meanwhile, the amendments to the FCRA Bill, which was tabled by HM Amit Shah on September 20 (Sunday), will streamline the provisions of the FCRA by strengthening the compliance mechanism, enhancing transparency and accountability in the receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution worth thousands of crores of rupees every year. It will now make Aadhaar mandatory for NGOs to receive foreign funds.
Further, the amendments will limit the use of foreign funds received under FCRA for administrative purposes from the current limit of 50% to 20%.