Union Home Ministry cancels FCRA licence of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

Tags: National

cancels FCRA licence

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cancelled the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) for violations of the law.

The Foundation is registered as a non-government organization and is associated with the former Congress party President Sonia Gandhi and her family .

The decision of the ministry was based on the investigations carried out by an inter-ministerial committee formed by the home ministry in 2020.

Why was the FCRA license cancelled?

In 2020, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Jagat Prakash Nadda had alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had accepted $300,000 from the Chinese government during 2005-06. 

The BJP alleged that the funds received by the RGF were a "bribe" for lobbying for a free-trade agreement between India and China.

The MHA set up the inter-ministerial committee headed by an Enforcement Directorate officer to probe possible violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Income Tax Act and the FCRA.

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation 

The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, set up in 1991 during the reign of Narasimha Rao, as a think tank to study on a number of issues including health, science, and technology, women and children, disability support, etc., from 1991 to 2009. 

Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of RGF while other trustees include former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

What is FCRA? 

  •  The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 1976 regulates the receipts of foreign contribution foreign contribution received by certain Individuals, companies, Political Parties, association or NGO resident in India.
  • The government can ban receipt of foreign contributions if it feels that it harms the national interest.
  • It can also cancel the license of the Associations, NGO if they do not follow the procedure mentioned in the law.
  • The law is administered by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

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