Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)

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Cash donations received by political parties violating FCRA ; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Jun 13 2015

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FCRA violations by political parties

The Times of India, Jun 13 2015

Pradeep Thakur

Penalize Cong, BJP for FCRA violations: EC

At a time when the home ministry is in the process of initiating action against some NGOs for receiving foreign funds in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), the Election Commission has nudged the ministry to act against two leading parties, Congress and BJP, for receiving donations from companies with majority foreign holdings. Political parties are not allowed to receive donations from foreign companies.However, a consolidated list of `foreign source' donors, prepared by the home ministry after an order from the Delhi high court, shows while the Congress received 10 “foreign“ donations of more than Rs 13 crore between 2007 and 2011, BJP received five such donations amounting to Rs 1.62 crore.

The high court, in its March 2014 order, indicted both Congress and BJP for re ceiving foreign funds in violation of FCRA guidelines. The court had asked the home ministry and EC to “relook and reappraise the receipts of the political parties and identify foreign contributions received by foreign sources“ and take action within six months. Both BJP and Congress have already approached the Supreme Court challenging the order of the Delhi HC, but no stay has been granted on the HC order. In response to the EC let ter, the home ministry has submitted a list of `foreign source' donors to the election watchdog giving details of all donations received by Congress and BJP from companies having foreign holding of more than 50%. However, the home ministry has not specified what action the government is contemplating against these parties.

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