Govt Denied FCRA Renewal, Didn't Freeze Our Accounts: Missionaries of Charity
On Christmas, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity (MoC) was denied a renewal of their FCRA registration.
Clarifying that 'no freeze was ordered by Ministry of Home Affairs' on any of their bank accounts, Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation set up by Mother Teresa, said in a statement on Monday, 27 December, that they have been denied a renewal of their Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration by the central government.
This, they said, had led them to ask their centres to not operate their foreign currency accounts.
The statement came amid reports claiming that the MoC’s bank accounts were frozen by the Centre, with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also tweeting about the same. The Quint's report too has been updated to reflect MoC's statement.
The congregation was denied a renewal of their FCRA registration on Christmas day, 25 December. This renewal is necessary for the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contributions.
The MHA, meanwhile, also said in a statement that the renewal of MoC's FCRA registration was valid up to 31 December 2021 and was refused on 25 December.
WHAT DID THE MoC STATEMENT SAY?
“We would like to clarify that the FCRA registration of the Missionaries of Charity has been neither suspended nor cancelled. Further, there is no freeze ordered by the Ministry of Home Affairs on any of our bank accounts,” the MOC said before stating that they have been informed about their FCRA renewal application not being approved.
“… Therefore, as a measure to ensure there is no lapse, we have asked our centres not to operate any of the FC accounts until the matter is resolved.”Missionaries of Charity
BUT WHY WAS THE FCRA RENEWAL REJECTED?
Stating that they did not freeze the accounts of the MoC, the MHA said that the renewal of FCRA registration of Missionaries of Charity (MoC) was refused on Saturday, 25 December, for purportedly “not meeting the eligibility conditions under the FCRA 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules (FCRR) 2011”.
They also alleged that while considering the MoC’s renewal application “some adverse inputs were noticed.”
No adverse inputs, however, were specifically pointed out by the MHA.
Prior reports had claimed that the MoC’s bank accounts were frozen, and taking to Twitter, West Bengal Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee had expressed shock over the same.
Meanwhile, Fr Dominic Gomes, Vicar General of Kolkata, had dubbed the reported freezing of accounts “a cruel Christmas gift to the poorest of the poor”.
He had also talked about how “besides over 22,000 direct dependants and beneficiaries at their centres across the country, MC Sisters and Brothers reach out to uplift thousands and are often the only friends of the lepers and social outcast no one will even venture near.”
Fr Gomes, however, has since put out a statement saying:
“Since the MC Generalate has given a definitive release this evening stating that the FCRA accounts of the congregation have not been frozen - they themselves have suspended use - as the MHA has merely rejected their application of the FCRA licence, which expires shortly. Please refrain from further sharing any earlier posts/statement regarding freezing of the accounts. Therefore, this is a non issue as of now.”
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