Income Tax on Salaries Budget Impact for FY 2013-14

Following are the Budget changes during 2013-14, which would impact the Income tax computations under Salary income.

1.       No change in Income tax slab  – Tax credit for income up to Rs.5 Lakhs

Even though there is no change in the Income tax Slab, there has been a tax credit of Rs.2,000/- for income up to Rs.5 lakhs to be shown as Rebate u/s 87A.

Example

a)      If an employee taxable income is say Rs.2,30,000/-. In such case, the tax liability for the employee would Rs.3,000/- on the income of Rs.30,000/-. Out of the tax liability of Rs.3,000/- since this employee income is less than Rs.5 lakh, additional rebate of Rs.2,000/- will be reduced from the total tax liability u/s 87A

b)      If an employee taxable income is say Rs.6,00,000/-, in such case employee will get no rebate as his total taxable income is above Rs.5 lakhs.

 2.       Surcharge of 10% on the taxable income above Rs.1 crore

Employees whose taxable income is above Rs.1 crore now need to pay additional tax as Surcharge which is at 10% on the tax which is higher when computed above Rs.1 Crore.

3.       Additional deduction u/s 80EE – Interest on Housing Loan for First time buyers

Good news for first time house buyers during the Financial year 2013-14. Employees who are planning to buy House during current FY, will get an additional deduction of Rs.1,00,00/- in addition to the Interest on housing Loan u/s 24 (b).

However, employees need to full fill the following conditions

  • Loan has to be taken from the Financial Institutes only
  • Date of Loan sanction should be between current Financial year i.e., 1st April 2013 to 31st March 14.
  • Loan sanctioned amount for purchase of House Property should not be above Rs.25 lakhs
  • The total value of the House property should not cross Rs.40 lakhs
  • Employees should not be owning any other Residential property as on date of loan sanction.

If employee fails to fulfill any one of the above condition, he / she would not be eligible for the above additional deduction.

4.       Life Insurance Premium:

Section 80C of the Income Tax Act currently allows a deduction on premium paid on Life Insurance Policy only if the annual premium paid is less than 10% of the sum assured.

Budget Impact - For persons with disability or severe disability or suffering from diseases or ailments specified in the Income Tax Act, the limit of 10% has been increased to 15%. Therefore, for such persons, if the annual premium paid is up to 15% of the sum assured, the same can be availed as a deduction under the Rs.1 lakh tax limit under section 80C.

5.       Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS):

Section 80CCG allows for tax deduction of a maximum of Rs 25,000 on amount invested in equity shares under the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) provided the taxable income of the person is less than Rs 10 lakh

Budget Impact - Now those earning income up to Rs.12 lakh will be eligible for deduction under RGESS. Also, the new provision will allow the investor exemption for not only direct investment in equity shares but also if the investment is made in the scheme of participating equity mutual fund schemes.

Also, the tax deduction of 50% of the amount invested, subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000, has been extended to three years instead of the current one-year.

This means that those eligible for deduction under this scheme can continue to invest up to Rs.50,000 per annum in equity or equity mutual funds for three consecutive years and avail an additional deduction of Rs.25,000 each year over and above the Rs.1 lakh deduction available under section 80C

6.       Donation:

Section 80G of the Income tax Act that provides for exemption of any amount given as donation to specified institutions will now also include National Children Fund. Any amount donated to this fund will result in 100% deduction of the amount so donated.

This article is published for educational purposes only.

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FCRA – Guidelines, Procedures & FAQ (FOREIGN CONTRIBUTION REGULATION ACT, 2010)

INTRODUCTION 

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (42 of 2010) dated the 26th September, 2010 was notified in the Gazette of India – Extraordinary – Part II – Section I dated the 27th  September, 2010. However, the Act has come into force with effect from the 1st May, 2011 vide Gazette Notification vide G.S.R. 349 (E) dated the 29th April, 2011.  Consequently, the earlier Act, viz., the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 has been repealed. The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 made under section 48 of FCRA, 2010 have also come into force simultaneously with FCRA, 2010 vide Gazette

Notification vide G.S.R. 349 (E) dated the 29th April, 2011.  While the provisions of the repealed FCRA, 1976 have generally been retained, the FCRA, 2010 is an improvement over the repealed Act as more stringent provisions have been made in order to prevent misutilization of the foreign contribution received by the associations. The prime objective of the Act is to regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution and foreign hospitality by persons and associations working in the important areas of national life. The focus of the Act is to ensure that the foreign contribution and foreign hospitality is not utilized to affect or influence electoral politics, public servants, judges and other people working the important areas of national life like journalists, printers and publishers of newspapers, etc. The Act also seeks to regulate flow of foreign funds to voluntary organizations with the objective of preventing any possible diversion of such funds towards activities detrimental to the national interest and to ensure that individuals and organizations may function in a manner consistent with the values of the sovereign democratic republic.

Organizations seeking foreign contributions for definite cultural, social, economic, educational or religious programs may either obtain registration or prior permission to receive foreign contribution from Ministry of Home Affairs by making application in the prescribed format and furnishing details of the activities and audited accounts.  The registration is granted only to such association which has proven track record of functioning in the chosen field of work during last three years and after registration, such organization is free to receive foreign contribution from any foreign source for its stated objectives.

Registration is granted only after thorough security vetting of the activities and antecedents of the organization and office bearers thereof.  However, such organizations which are newly established and do not have proven track record of functioning may also receive foreign contribution for specific activities, for a specific purpose and from a specific source after seeking project based prior permission (PP) from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In order to bring in transparency in the administration of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and the Rules framed there under, improve the functioning, disseminate the information and enhance user friendliness of the various procedures, the Ministry of Home Affairs’ web-site on FCRA (http://mha.nic.in/fcra.htm) is uploaded with all the related information for guidance of all concerned

Some of the FCRA Online Services available in MHA FCRA website:

  1. Online filing of FCRA Annual Returns
  2. Instructions for filing online of FCRA Annual Returns
  3. Online filing of application for grant of FCRA Registration
  4. Instructions for filing online grant of FCRA Registration
  5. Online filing of application for grant of FCRA Prior Permission
  6. Instructions for filing online grant of FCRA Prior Permission
  7. Online filing of Application for Accepting Foreign Hospitality Under FCRA
  8. Instructions for filing Online of FCRA Hospitality

CHARTER FOR ASSOCIATIONS APPLYING FOR GRANT OF PRIOR PERMISSION/REGISTRATION UNDER THE FOREIGN CONTRIBUTION (REGULATION) ACT, 2010

  • Any Association/NGO wishing to receive foreign contribution (FC) must have a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social program.
  • It shall neither receive nor utilize any FC without obtaining either prior permission or registration from the Central Govt.
  • Details of FC received prior to obtaining either prior permission or registration should be mentioned clearly at the time of applying for prior permission or registration, as the case may be.
  • Application for grant of registration is to be made online in Form FC–3.
  • Application seeking prior permission to accept foreign contribution is to be made online in Form FC–4.
  • The application should be complete in all respects and no column should be left blank.
  • Each Prior permission application should be sent for receiving a specific amount, for a specific purpose and from a specific donor.
  • Following documents should be enclosed with the application for grant of Registration:

(i)      Hard-copy of the online application, duly signed by the Chief Functionary of the association;

(ii)    Certified copy of registration certificate or Trust deed, as the case may be;

(iii)   Details of activities during the last three years;

(iv)  Copies of audited statement of accounts for the past three years (Asset and Liabilities, Receipt and Payment, Income and Expenditure);

(v)    If functioning as editor, owner, printer or publisher of a publication registered under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, a certificate from the Registrar of Newspaper for India that the publication is not a newspaper in terms of section 1(1) of the said Act.

(vi)  A copy of the PAN, if issued by Income Tax authorities.

(vii) Fee of by means of demand draft or banker’s cheque of Rs. 2000/- in favour of the “Pay and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs”, payable at New Delhi.

  • Following documents should be enclosed with the application for grant of Prior Permission:

(i)      Hard-copy of the online application, duly signed by the Chief  Functionary of the association;

(ii)    Certified copy of registration certificate or Trust deed, as the case may be;

(iii)   Commitment letter from foreign donor specifying the amount of foreign contribution;

(iv)  Copy of the project report  for which foreign contribution is  solicited/being offered;

(v)    If functioning as editor, owner, printer or publisher of a publication registered under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, a certificate from the Registrar of Newspaper for   India that the publication is not a newspaper in terms of section 1(1) of the said Act.

(vi)  A copy of the PAN, if issued by Income Tax authorities.

(vii) Fee of by means of demand draft or banker’s cheque of Rs. 1000/- in favour of the “Pay and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs”, payable at New Delhi.

Note:  The hard copy of the on-line application along with all the documents mentioned above must reach the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division (FCRA Wing) within thirty days of the submission of the on-line application, failing which the request of the person for grant of registration or prior permission, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have ceased.

 

FCRA, 2010, FCRR, 2011, FAQs thereon and all other related information and, the Forms FC-3 and FC-4 as also link to FCRA Online Services are available at the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs at

http://mha.nic.in/fcra.htm

CHARTER FOR ASSOCIATIONS WHO HAVE BEEN GRANTED PRIOR PERMISSION OR REGISTRATION UNDER FCRA

  • An association granted prior permission or registration under the repealed Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 shall be deemed to have been registered or granted prior permission, as the case may be, under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA, 2010) and such registration shall be valid for a period of 5 years from the 1st May, 2011, i.e., up to the 30th April, 2016.
  • Every certificate of registration granted under FCRA, 2010 shall be valid for a period of five years from the date of its issue.
  • Every certificate of registration shall have to be renewed.  The application for renewal is to be made in Form FC-5 along with the prescribed fee, six months before the date of expiry of the certificate of registration.  An association implementing an ongoing multi-year project shall apply for renewal twelve months before the date of expiry of the certificate of registration.  In case no application for renewal of registration is received or such application is not accompanied by the requisite fee, the validity of the certificate of registration shall be deemed to have ceased from the date of completion of the period of five years from the date of the grant of registration.
  • An association granted prior permission or registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA, 2010) should receive the foreign contribution in the same exclusive designated Bank Account mentioned in the order granting prior permission  or registration. This account number would be the same as has been intimated by the organization in their application for prior permission/registration.  Deposit of any local fund in this bank account is not allowed.  One or more accounts in one or more scheduled banks may be opened for utilizing the foreign contribution provided that no funds other than foreign contribution shall be received or deposited in such account or accounts.  Section 17 of the FCRA, 2010 may please be referred.
  • Foreign contribution cannot be mixed with local funds being handled by the organization.
  • An association granted prior permission or registration is required to carry out the activities, for which foreign contribution is received, in India only and the amount should not be utilized for purposes other than for which it is received.
  • Any fixed asset acquired out of the foreign contribution and any article received in kind from the foreign source should be in the name of the association and not in the name of any individual in the association.
  • Not more than 50% of the foreign contribution shall be defrayed to meet administrative expenses of the association. What constitutes ‘administrative expenses’ has been defined in Rule 5 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 (FCRR, 2011).
  • Any foreign contribution or any income arising out of it shall not be used for speculative business. What constitutes ‘speculative business’ has been defined in Rule 4 of FCRR, 2011.
  • An association granted prior permission or registration should maintain a separate set of accounts and records, exclusively for foreign contribution received and utilized. If the foreign contribution relates only to articles, the intimation shall be submitted in Form FC-7.  If the foreign contribution relates to foreign securities, the intimation shall be submitted in Form FC-8.  Every report submitted shall be duly certified by a chartered accountant.
  • Every account giving details of the receipt and purpose-wise utilization of the FC, including the interest earned on the FC amount, should be maintained on an yearly basis, commencing on the 1st day of April each year, and every such yearly account is to be submitted, in prescribed Form FC – 6 along with the income and expenditure statement, balance sheet and statement of receipt and payment, duly certified by a chartered accountant in duplicate, within nine months of the  closure of the year, i.e., before 31st December.  Every such return in Form FC-6 shall also be accompanied by a copy of a statement of account from the bank where the exclusive foreign contribution account is maintained by the person, duly certified by an officer of such bank. The cash book and ledger account on double entry basis, where the FC relates to currency received and utilized. The annual return in Form FC-6 shall reflect the foreign contribution received in the exclusive bank account and include the details in respect of the funds transferred to other bank accounts for utilization.
  • The accounting statements shall have to be preserved by the NGO/association for a period of six years.
  • Even if no FC is received during a year, a ‘Nil’ return is required to be filed with the Ministry of Home Affairs within the prescribed time limit.
  • Associations/NGOs granted registration  or prior permission, which have received foreign contribution in excess  of one crore rupees, or equivalent thereto, in a financial year, shall place the summary data on receipts and utilization of the foreign contribution pertaining to the year of receipt as well as for one year thereafter in the public domain.
  • No FC should be transferred to an association which has not obtained either prior permission or registration under FCRA or to any person or association, prohibited under FCRA from receiving any FC.  However, if the foreign contribution is proposed to be transferred to a person who has not been granted a certificate of registration or prior permission by the Central Government, the person concerned may apply for permission to the Central Government to transfer a part of the foreign contribution, not exceeding ten per cent, of the total value of the foreign contribution received.  The application shall be countersigned by the District Magistrate having jurisdiction in the place where the transferred funds are sought to be utilized.  The District Magistrate concerned shall take an appropriate decision in the matter within sixty days of the receipt of such request from the person.  The donor shall not transfer any foreign contribution until the Central Government has approved the transfer.  Any transfer of foreign contribution shall be reflected in the returns in Form FC-6 as well as in Form FC-10 by the transferor and the recipient.
  • Change of name, address, registration, nature of activities or aims and objectives of an association should be intimated to the Ministry of Home Affairs within 30 days of effecting the change, along with the documentary evidence effecting the change.
  • Prior permission of Ministry of Home Affairs should be obtained for replacing 50% or more of the office bearers.
  • Prior permission of Ministry of Home Affairs should be obtained for changing bank account for valid and convincing reasons

CHARTER FOR THE CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS

Since the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA, 2010) is national security legislation; associations are required to exercise extreme care and caution in dealing with foreign contribution from the time of its receipt to its final utilization.  As the Chartered Accountants audit the accounts of the associations and certify the accounts before submission to the Government, they are required to provide proper guidance to the associations who is either applying for grant of prior permission/registration or who have been granted prior permission/registration under FCRA, 2010.  The Chartered Accountants are requested to get themselves thoroughly familiarized with FCRA, 2010 and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 (FCRR, 2011) so that they can help the associations:

  • To verify whether the associations are eligible to receive foreign contribution.
  • To guide the applicant organization in submission of application for registration/prior permission;
  • To ensure that the association  receives and utilizes the foreign contributions through its bank account exclusively opened for the purpose in accordance with the provisions of FCRA, 2010 and FCRR, 2011 and that foreign contribution is not deposited or utilized from the bank account being used for domestic funds.
  • To assist in the proper maintenance of prescribed books of accounts in accordance with the provisions of FCRA, 2010 and FCRR, 2011;
  • To ensure that the annual returns of an association have been prepared in accordance with the provisions of FC(R) Act, 2010 and FCRR, 2011.

CHARTER FOR THE BANKS

 

Banks have given a very crucial role in ensuring that the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA, 2010) the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 (FCRR, 2011) are scrupulously followed by the associations who have been granted prior permission/registration under FCRA, 2010 as also by all other person(s), as defined in the Act.  No bank should credit any foreign contribution to the account of an association/NGO unless it produces documentary evidence of having obtained registration/prior permission from the Central Government for the same. In case any foreign contribution is credited to the account of an NGO/Association/Trust directly, the bank should not allow utilization of such fund and inform the NGO/Association/Trust concerned to obtain necessary permission/registration from the Central Government for the same. Simultaneously, the bank should inform the Deputy Secretary (FCRA), Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi about such receipt. Non-compliance of the above by the bank will constitute a violation and will render the defaulting bank liable for appropriate action by the Reserve Bank of India.  Attention of the Banks is drawn specifically to the following provisions of FCRA, 2010 and FCRR, 2011:

“Section 17: (1) Every person who has been granted a certificate or given prior permission under Section 12 shall receive foreign contribution in a single account only through such one of the branches of a bank as he may specify in his application for grant of certificate;

Provided that such person may open one or more accounts in one or more banks for utilising the foreign contribution received by him

Provided further that no funds other than foreign contribution shall be received or deposited in such account or accounts

(2)  Every bank or authorised person in foreign exchange shall report to such authority as may be specified-

(a) prescribed amount of foreign remittance;

(b) the source and manner in which the foreign remittance was received; and

(c) other particulars,

in such form and manner as may be prescribed.

“Section 18: – (1)  Every person who has been granted a certificate or given prior approval under  this Act  shall  give, within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed, an intimation to the Central Government, and such other authority as may be specified by the Central Government, as to the amount of each foreign contribution received by it, the source from which and the manner in which such foreign contribution was received, and the purposes for which, and the manner in which such foreign contribution was utilised by him.

(2)  Every person receiving foreign contribution shall submit a copy of a statement indicating therein the particulars of foreign contribution received duly certified by officer of the bank or authorised person in foreign exchange and furnish the same to the Central Government along with the intimation under

sub-section(1).”

“Rule-16: -    Reporting by banks of receipt of foreign contribution:-

(1)  Every bank shall send a report to the Central Government within thirty days of any transaction in respect of receipt of foreign contribution by any person who is required to obtain a certificate of registration or prior permission under the Act, but who was not granted such certificate or prior permission as on the date of receipt of such remittance.

(2) The report referred to in sub-rule(1) shall contain the following details:-

(a) Name and address of the donor.

(b) Name and address of the recipient.

(c) Account number.

(d) Name of the Bank and Branch.

(e) Amount of foreign contribution (in foreign currency as well as Indian Rupees).

(f) Date of receipt.

(g) Manner of receipt of foreign contribution (cash/cheque/electronic transfer etc.).

(3)  The bank shall send a report to the Central Government within thirty days from the date of such last transaction in respect of receipt of any foreign contribution in excess of one crore rupees or equivalent thereto in a single transaction or in transactions within a duration of thirty  days, by any person, whether registered or not under the Act and such report shall include the following details:-

(a) Name and address of the donor.

(b) Name and address of the recipient.

(c) Account number.

(d) Name of the Bank and Branch.

(e) Amount of foreign contribution (in foreign currency as well as Indian Rupees).

(f) Date of receipt.

(g) Manner of receipt of foreign contribution (cash/cheque/electronic transfer etc.).”

THE ILLUSTRATIVE PROGRAMS PERMITTED TO BE CARRIED OUT BY ASSOCIATIONS HAVING DIFFERENT NATURE ARE INDICATED BELOW

1. Religious

  • Celebrations of religious functions/festivals etc.
  • Construction/repair/maintenance of places of worship, religious schools.
  • Education of priests and preachers; (dissemination of the message of good will etc. from their holy books).
  • Publication and distribution of religious books/ literature.
  • Maintenance of priests / preachers / other religious functionaries.
  • Any other activities related to the above.

2. Educational

  • Construction and maintenance of school/college.
  • Construction and running of hostel for poor students.
  • Grant of stipend/Scholarship/assistance in cash and kind to poor/deserving children.
  • Purchase and supply of educational material-books, notebooks etc.
  • Conducting adult literacy programs.
  • Conducting Research.
  • Education/Schools for the mentally challenged.
  • Non-formal education projects/coaching classes.
  • Any other activities related to the above.

3. Economic

Following activities (Not being commercial or profit making activities)

  • Micro-finance projects, including setting up banking co-operative and self-help groups.
  • Self-sustaining income generation projects/Schemes.
  • Agricultural activity.
  • Rural Development.
  • Animal husbandry projects.
  • Setting up and running handicraft centre/cottage and khadi industry/social forestry projects.
  • Vocational training, tailoring, motor repairs, computers etc.
  • Any other activities related to the above, not being commercial activities.

4. Social

  • Construction/Running of Hospital/dispensary/clinic.
  • Construction of community halls etc.
  • Construction and Management of old age home.
  • Welfare of the aged widows.
  • Construction and Management of Orphanage.
  • Welfare of the orphans.
  • Construction and Management of dharamshala /shelter.
  • Holding of free medical/health/family welfare/immunisation camps.
  • Supply of free medicine, and medical aids, including hearing aids, visual aids, family planning aids etc.
  • Provision of aids such as Tricycles, callipers etc. to the handicapped.
  • Treatment/Rehabilitation of drug addicts.
  • Welfare/Empowerment of women.
  • Welfare of children.
  • Provision of free clothing/food/to the poor. Needy and destitute.
  • Relief/Rehabilitation of victims of natural calamities.
  • Help to the victims of riots/other disturbances.
  • Digging of bore wells.
  • Sanitation including community toilets etc.
  • Awareness camp/Seminar/workshop/meeting/conference.
  • Providing free legal aid/Running legal aid centre.
  • Holding sports meet.
  • Awareness about Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)/Treatment and rehabilitation of persons affected by AIDS.
  • Welfare of the physically and mentally challenged.
  • Welfare of the Schedules Castes.
  • Welfare of the Scheduled Tribes.
  • Welfare of the Backward Classes.
  • Environmental programs.
  • Survey for Socio-economic and other welfare programs.
  • Preservation & maintenance of Wild Life.
  • Preservation of Natural Resources.
  • Awareness against social evils.
  • Rehabilitation of victims of heinous crimes.
  • Rehabilitation of beggars, bootleggers, child labour etc.
  • Creating awareness of Government schemes & Law to general public.
  • Any other activities related to the above.

5. Cultural

  • Celebration of national events (Independence/Republic day/festivals.
  • Theatre/Films etc.
  • Maintenance of places of historical and cultural importance.
  • Preservation of ancient/tribal art forms.
  • Preservation & promotion of Cultural Heritage & Literature of India.
  • Cultural shows.
  • Any other activities related to the above.

COMMON GROUNDS FOR REJECTION OF APPLICATIONS UNDER FCRA, 2010

Certain guidelines have been laid down for considering applications for grant of prior permission/ registration under the Act.   Some of the common grounds for rejection of applications are enlisted below as illustrations to bring in transparency and benefit the applicants in taking due care and caution:-

  • If the association is not registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.
  • If any of the office bearers/trustees including the chief functionary is a foreign national, other than of Indian origin.
  • If the association has a single office bearer/member.
  • If the association is found to have been formed for personal gain or for diversion of the funds for undesirable purposes.
  • If the association is found to be fictitious or ‘benami’ in nature.
  • If the credibility of any member of the governing body is in doubt.
  • If the association has close links with another association which has been refused registration under FCRA or prohibited under FCRA or violated the provisions of FCRA.
  • If the association has links with any banned organizations.
  • If the principal office bearers of the association have been convicted by any court of law under any act or if a prosecution for any offence is pending against them.
  • If the principal office bearers of the association have been found guilty of diversion or misutilization of funds of the said association or any other association in the past.
  • If the activities of the association are found to be aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious faith to another.
  • If the association is found to propagate sedition or to advocate violent methods to achieve its ends.
  • If the association is found to be creating communal tensions or disharmony.
  • If the office bearers of the association are also office bearers of another association and one of these associations has come to adverse notice.
  • If the association’s printed work is not certified by the Registrar of Newspapers for India not to be a newspaper in terms of section 1(1) of the Press Registration of Books Act, 1867.
  • If the source of foreign contribution is found to be adverse to the interests of the country.
  • If the acceptance of foreign contribution by the association is likely to be prejudicial to  (a) the sovereignty and  integrity of India; (b) free and fair elections to any Legislature or House  of Parliament; (c)  public interest; (d) friendly relations with a foreign state; or (e) harmony between any religious, social, linguistic, regional groups, caste or community.
  • If the association has not filed its annual returns of receipt and utilization of foreign contribution received with prior permission, within the stipulated period.
  • If the association has violated any provisions of the Act or Rules in the preceding three years and the said violation has not been remedied or rectified.

Additional grounds for rejection of applications for Registration.

  • If the association has not been in existence for three years from the date of its registration under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.
  • If the association has not carried on any activity in its chosen field during the last three years.
  • If the association has not received foreign contribution, with prior permission, during the preceding three years.
  • If the association has not made any substantial contribution, i.e., at least Rs.10,00,000/- over a period of three years, in its field of activity excluding expenditure on administration.

Additional grounds for rejection of applications for Prior Permission

  • If the application is not accompanied by the ‘commitment letter’ of the donor.
  • If the application is not accompanied by the copy of project for which foreign contribution was solicited/is being offered.

FORMS TO BE FILED RELATING TO FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

Form Description
FC-1 Intimation to the Central Government of receipt of foreign contribution by way of gift from relative.
FC-2 Application for seeking prior permission of the Central Government to accept foreign hospitality.
FC-3 Application for ‘registration’ under section 11(1) of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 for the acceptance of foreign contribution by an Association having definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme.
FC-4 Application for ‘prior permission’ under sub-section (2) of section 11 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (42 of 2010) for the acceptance of foreign contribution by an Association having definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme.
FC-5 Application for seeking renewal of ‘registration certificate’ under section 13 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (42 of 2010).
FC-6 Yearly account of Foreign Contribution received and utilised.
FC-7 Intimation about Foreign Contribution (Articles) Account.
FC-8 Intimation about foreign contribution (securities) Account.
FC-9 Intimation to the Central Government of Receipt of Foreign Contribution received by a candidate for Election [section 21 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (42 of 2010).
FC-10 Application for seeking permission for transfer of foreign contribution to other registered/un-registered persons.
Correction Form Application form for change in Name/Address of Associations.
Correction Form Application form for change in Bank Account/Bank of Associations

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) ON FCRA

Q.1 What is foreign contribution?

Ans.  As defined in Section 2(1)(h) of FCRA, 2010, "foreign contribution" means the donation, delivery or transfer made by any foreign source, ─

(i)      of any article, not being an article given to a person* as a gift for his personal use, if the market value, in India, of such article, on the date of such gift is not more than such sum** as may be specified from time to time by the Central Government by rules made by it in this behalf;

(ii)    of any currency, whether Indian or foreign;

(iii)   of any security as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the securities Contracts(Regulation) Act, 1956 and includes any foreign security as defined in clause (o) of Section 2 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

Explanation 1 – A donation, delivery or transfer or any article, currency or foreign security referred to in this clause by any person who has received it form any foreign source, either directly or through one or more persons, shall also be deemed to be foreign contribution with the meaning of this clause.

Explanation 2 ‒ The interest accrued on the foreign contribution deposited in any bank referred to in sub-section (1) of Section 17 or any other income derived from the foreign contribution or interest thereon shall also be deemed to be foreign contribution within the meaning of this clause.

Explanation 3 ‒ Any amount received, by an person from any foreign source in India, by way of fee (including fees charged by an educational institution in India from foreign student) or towards cost in lieu of goods or services rendered by such person in the ordinary course of his business, trade or commerce whether within India or outside India or any contribution received from an agent or a foreign source towards such fee or cost shall be excluded from the definition of foreign contribution within the meaning of this clause.

* In terms of FCRA, 2010 "person" includes ‒ (i) an individual; (ii) a Hindu undivided family; (iii) an association; and (iv) a company registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.

**The sum, as stated at (i) above, has been specified as Rs. 25,000/- vide the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2012 [G.S.R. 292 (E) dated 12th April, 2012].

Q.2 Whether earnings from foreign client(s) by a person in lieu of goods sold or services rendered by it is treated as foreign contribution?

Ans.  No. As clarified at Explanation 3 above, foreign contribution excludes earnings from foreign client(s) by a person in lieu of goods sold or services rendered by it as this is a transaction of commercial nature.

Q.3 Section 2(c)(i) of repealed FCRA, 1976 inter alia defined foreign contribution as the donation, delivery or transfer made by any foreign source of any article, not given to a person as a gift for personal use, if the market value, in India, of such article exceeds one thousand rupees. What limit has been prescribed in FCRA, 2010 in respect of such articles?

Ans.  The limit has been specified as Rs. 25000/- through insertion of the following Rule 6A in FCRR, 2011 vide the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2012 [G.S.R. 292 (E) dated 12th April,

2012]:

“6A. When articles gifted for personal use do not amount to foreign contribution. – Any article gifted to a person for his personal use whose market value in India on the date of such gift does not exceed rupees twenty-five thousand shall not be a foreign contribution within the meaning of sub-clause (i) of clause (h) of sub-section (1) of section (2).”

Q.4 What is a foreign source?

Ans.  Foreign source, as defined in Section 2(1) (j) of FCRA, 2010 includes:-

(i)      the Government of any foreign country or territory and any agency of such Government;

(ii)    any international agency, not being the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund or such other agency as the Central Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf;(iii) a foreign company;

(iii)   a corporation, not being a foreign company, incorporated in a foreign country or territory;

(iv)  a multi-national corporation referred to in sub-clause (iv) of clause (g);

(v)    a company within the meaning of the Companies Act, 1956, and more than one-half of the nominal value of its share capital is held, either singly or in the aggregate, by one or more of the following, namely:-

(A)   the Government of a foreign country or territory;

(B)   the citizens of a foreign country or territory;

(C)   corporations incorporated in a foreign country or territory;

(D)   trusts, societies or other associations of individuals (whether incorporated or not), formed or registered in a foreign country or territory;

(E)    Foreign company;

(vi)  a trade union in any foreign country or territory, whether or not registered in such foreign country or territory;

(vii) a foreign trust or a foreign foundation, by whatever name called, or such trust or foundation mainly financed by a foreign country or territory;

(viii)  a society, club or other association or individuals formed or registered outside India;

(ix)  a citizen of a foreign country;”

List of agencies of the United Nations, World Bank and some other International agencies/multilateral organisations, which are not treated as ‘foreign source’, are available on the website

http://mha.nic.in/fcra/intro/FCRA-exemptedAgenciesUN.pdf

Q.5 Who can receive foreign contribution?

Ans.  A ‘person’, as defined in Section 2(1)(m) with the exclusion of those mentioned in Section 3 of FCRA, 2010, having a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme can receive foreign contribution after it obtains the prior permission of the Central Government, or gets itself registered with the Central Government. Illustrative but not exhaustive lists of activities which are permissible and may be carried out by associations of different nature are available on the website —

http://mha.nic.in/fcra/intro/permitted_programs.htm

Q.6 Who cannot receive foreign contribution?

Ans.  As defined in Section 3(1) of FCRA, 2010, foreign contribution cannot be accepted by any:

(a)    a candidate for election;

(b)   correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publisher of a registered newspaper;

(c)    Judge, government servant or employee of any Corporation or any other body controlled on owned by the Government;

(d)   member of any legislature;

(e)   political party or office bearer thereof;

(f)     organization of a political nature as may be specified under sub- section (1) of Section 5 by the Central Government.

(g)    association or company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news or audio visual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode, or any other electronic form as defined in clause (r) of sub-section (i) of Section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 or any other mode of mass communication;

(h)   correspondent or columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner of the association or company referred to in clause (g).

(i)      individuals or associations who have been prohibited from receiving foreign contribution.

Explanation – In clause (c) and section 6, the expression “corporation’ means a corporation owned or controlled by the Government and includes a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956.

Q.7 Are there any banned organisations from whom foreign contribution should not be accepted?

Ans.  Yes. FCRA is meant to ensure that foreign contribution is received from legitimate sources and utilised for legitimate purposes by any person. A list of banned organisations is available in MHA’s

website http://mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=292. In particular, the list of foreign entities/ individuals can be seen in http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/AQList.htm

Q.8 Whether donation given by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) is treated as ‘foreign contribution’?

Ans.  Contributions made by a citizen of India living in another country (i.e., Non-Resident Indian), from his personal savings, through the normal banking channels, is not treated as foreign contribution. However, while accepting any donations from such NRI, it is advisable to obtain his passport details to ascertain that he/she is an Indian passport holder.

Q.9 Whether donation given by an individual of Indian origin and having foreign nationality is treated as ‘foreign contribution’?

Ans.  Yes. Donation from an Indian who has acquired foreign citizenship is treated as foreign contribution. This will also apply to PIO card holders and to Overseas Citizens of India. However, this

will not apply to ‘Non-resident Indians’, who still hold Indian citizenship.

Q.10 Whether foreign remittances received from a relative are to be treated as foreign contribution as per FCRA, 2010?

Ans.  The position in this regard as given in Section 4(e) of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 6 of FCRR, 2011 are as under:

Subject to the provisions of section 10 of the FCRA, 2010, nothing contained in section 3 of the Act shall apply to the acceptance, by any person specified in that section, of any foreign contribution where such contribution is accepted by him from his relative.

However, in terms of Rule 6 of FCRR, 2011, any person receiving foreign contribution in excess of one lakh rupees or equivalent thereto in a financial year from any of his relatives shall inform the Central Government in Form FC-1 within thirty days from the date of receipt of such contribution. This form is available on the website http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-1.pdf

Q.11 Whether individuals not covered under Section 3 or a HUF can accept foreign contribution freely for the purposes listed in section 4 of FCRA, 2010?

Ans.  Yes. Since, subject to the provisions of Section 10, even the persons specified under section 3, i.e., persons not permitted to accept foreign contribution, are allowed to receive foreign contribution for the purposes listed in section 4, it is obvious that Individuals in general and a HUF are permitted to accept foreign contribution without permission for the purposes listed in section 4. However, it should be borne in mind that the monetary limit for acceptance of foreign contribution in the form of any article given as gift to a person for his personal use has been specified as Rs.25,000/ vide FCR Amendment Rules, 2012.

Q.12 Can the fee paid by the foreign delegates/participants attending/participating in a conference/ seminar etc. be termed as foreign contribution and thus require permission from FCRA?

Ans.  “Delegate/participation Fees” paid in foreign currency by foreign delegates/participants for participation in a conference/seminar and which is utilized for the purpose of meeting the expenditure of hosting the conference/seminar is not treated as foreign contribution and as such no permission under FCRA is required.

Q.13 Whether a Company incorporated in India under the Companies Act, 1956 having its operations in 2 or more countries is to be treated as a MNC/foreign source under FCRA, 2010?

Ans.  No. However, as defined under section 2(j)(vi), a company within the meaning of the Companies Act, 1956 having more than one-half of the nominal value of its share capital held, either singly or in the aggregate, by one or more of the following will be treated as a “foreign source”:

(A)   the Government of a foreign country or territory;

(B)   the citizens of a foreign country or territory;

(C)   corporations incorporated in a foreign country or territory;

(D)   trusts, societies or other associations of individuals (whether incorporated or not), formed or registered in a foreign country or territory”

Q.14 Can foreign contribution be received in rupees?

Ans.  Yes. Any amount received from ‘foreign source’ in rupees or foreign currency is construed as ‘foreign contribution’ under law. Such transactions even in rupees term are considered foreign contribution.

Q.15 Will interest or any other income earned from foreign contribution be considered foreign contribution?

Ans.  Yes.

Q.16 Whether interest or any other income earned out of foreign contributions be shown as fresh foreign contribution receipt during that year or not?

Ans.  Yes. The interest or any other income earned out of such deposit should be shown as second / subsequent foreign contribution receipt in the annual return during the year in which it is earned.

Q.17 Can NGOs use the foreign contributions for investment in Mutual Funds and other speculative investments?

Ans.  No. Speculative activities have been defined in Rule 4 of FCRR – 2011 as under:-

  1. (a) any activity or investment that has an element of risk of appreciation or depreciation of the original investment, linked to marked forces, including investment in mutual funds or in shares;

(b) Participation in any scheme that promises high returns like investment in chits or land or similar assets not directly linked to the declared aims and objectives of the organization or association.

  1. A debt-based secure investment shall not be treated as speculative investment.
  2. Every association shall maintain a separate register of investments.
  3. Every register of investments maintained under sub-rule (3) shall be submitted for audit.

In view of the above, secure investments and fixed deposits in any bank or Government approved financial institution which ensures a fixed return will not be treated as speculative investment.

Q.18 Can capital assets purchased with the help of foreign contributions be acquired in the name of the office bearers of the association?

Ans.  No. Every asset purchased with foreign contribution should be acquired and possessed in the name of the association since an association has a separate legal entity distinct from its members.

Q.19 Can an association invest the foreign contribution received by it in profitable ventures and proceeds can be utilized for welfare activities?

Ans.  No. The association should utilize such funds for the welfare purpose or activities for which it is received. The utilization should be in line with the objectives of the association. However, foreign contributions can be utilized for self-sustaining activities, not meant for commercial purposes.

Q.20 Can foreign contribution be received in and utilised from multiple Bank Accounts?

Ans.  No fund other than foreign contribution can be deposited in the exclusive single FC account of a Bank, as mentioned in the order for registration or prior permission granted by MHA, to be separately maintained by the associations. However, one or more accounts in one or more banks may be opened for utilising the foreign contribution after it has been received provided that no funds other than that foreign contribution shall be received or deposited in such account or accounts and in all such cases, intimation on plain paper shall have to be furnished to MHA within 15 days of the opening of the account.

Q.21 Whether inter-account funds transfer shall be allowed within the multiple accounts that an Association is now permitted to open for the purpose of utilizing the foreign contributions and the level of diligence required on the part of the Banks in this regard?

Ans.  Transfer of funds is allowed from the designated FC account of an Association to the multiple account or accounts opened for its utilization. However, no funds other than the amount received in the designated FC account shall be received or deposited in such multiple account or accounts. Inter-account transfer of funds between the multiple accounts is not permissible. As such, the banks should apply full diligence to keep track of the transfers.

Q.22 Can foreign contribution be mixed with local receipts?

Ans.  No. Foreign contribution cannot be deposited or utilised from the bank account being used for domestic funds.

Q.23 Whether expenses like ‘interest paid to bank’, ‘bank charges’, ‘hospitality’ etc. can be included in ‘administrative expenses’?

Ans.  No. The definition of as ‘administrative expenses’, as given in Rule 5 of FCRR, 2011 is explicit in this regard.

Q.24 Is there any restriction on transfer of funds to other organisations?

Ans.  Yes. Section 7 of FCRA, 2010 states:-

“No person who –

(a)    is registered and granted a certificate or has obtained prior permission under this Act; and

(b)   receives any foreign contribution, shall transfer such foreign contribution to any other person unless such other person is also registered and had been granted the certificate or obtained the prior permission under this Act:

Provided that such person may transfer, with the prior approval of the Central Government, a part of such foreign contribution to any other person who has not been granted a certificate or obtained permission under this Act in accordance with the rules made by the Central Government.”

Rule 24 of FCRR, 2011, as amended vide the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2012 [G.S.R. 292 (E) dated 12th April, 2012] prescribes the procedure for transferring foreign contribution as under:

“24. Procedure for transferring foreign contribution to any unregistered person. ─ (1) A person who has been granted a certificate of registration or prior permission under section 11 and intends to transfer part of the foreign contribution received by him to a person who has not been granted a certificate of registration or prior permission under the Act, may transfer such foreign contribution to an extent not exceeding ten per cent of the total value thereof and for this purpose, make an application to the Central Government in Form FC-10. http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-10.pdf

(2) Every application made under sub-rule (1) shall be accompanied by a declaration to the effect that-

(a) the amount proposed to be transferred during the financial year is less than ten per cent of the total value of the foreign contribution received by him during the financial year;

(b) the transferor shall not transfer any amount of foreign contribution until the Central Government approves such transfer.

(3) A person who has been granted a certificate of registration or prior permission under section 11 shall not be required to seek the prior approval of the Central Government for transferring the foreign contribution received by him to another person who has been granted a certificate of registration or prior permission under the Act provided that the recipient has not been proceeded against under any of the provisions of the Act.

(4) Both the transferor and the recipient shall be responsible for ensuring proper utilisation of the foreign contribution so transferred and such transfer of foreign contribution shall be reflected in the returns in Form FC-6 to be submitted by both the transferor and the recipient.”. http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-6.pdf

Q.25 How would an organisation that is registered or has obtained prior permission under FCRA and intends to transfer a part of the foreign contribution received by it to another organisation would know whether the recipient organisation has been proceeded against under FCRA?

Ans.  Where any organisation is proceeded against under FCRA, it is done with due intimation to the organisation concerned. Therefore, the donor organisation is advised to insist on a written undertaking from the intending recipient organisation.

Q.26 What are the eligibility criteria for grant of registration?

Ans.  For grant of registration under FCRA, 2010, the association should:

(i) be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 etc;

(ii) normally be in existence for at least three years and has undertaken reasonable activity in its chosen field for the benefit of the society for which the foreign contribution is proposed to be utilised. For this purpose, the association should have spent at least Rs.10,00,000/- over the last three years on its activities, excluding administrative expenditure. Statements of Income & Expenditure, duly audited by Chartered Accountant, for last three years are to be submitted to substantiate that it meets the financial parameter.

Q.27 What are the eligibility criteria for grant of prior permission?

Ans.  An organisation in formative stage is not eligible for registration. Such organisation may apply for grant of prior permission under FCRA, 2010. Prior permission is granted for receipt of a specific amount from a specific donor for carrying out specific activities/projects. For this purpose, the association should:

(i)      be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 etc;

(ii)    submit a specific commitment letter from the donor indicating the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is proposed to be given; and

(iii)   submit copy of a reasonable project for the benefit of the society for which the foreign contribution is proposed to be utilised.

Q.28 Whether the amount of foreign contribution for which prior permission has been granted can be received by an association in installments?

Ans.  There is no bar on receiving such foreign contribution in installments. However, the aggregate amount should not exceed the specified amount for which prior permission has been granted. The association shall have to submit the mandatory return in FC-6 form for receipt and utilisation of the foreign contribution on a yearly basis, till the amount of foreign contribution is fully utilised. Even if no

transaction takes place during a year, a NIL return should be submitted.

Q.29 Whether an association should open an exclusive FC A/c before submission of an application for registration or prior permission?

Ans.  Yes. Since the FC A/c through which foreign contribution is proposed to be received and utilised is to be mentioned in the application seeking registration or prior permission, as the case may be, the association should open such an exclusive FC A/c with a Bank. This A/c number would be mentioned in the letter granting registration or prior permission to the association.

Q.30 Whether Banks should allow an association which is applying for registration or prior permission under FCRA, 2010 to open an exclusive FC A/c with INR?

Ans.  Yes. However, the Banks should not allow any foreign inward remittance in that A/c till such time the association is granted registration or prior permission, as the case may be.

Q.31 Whether Banks should credit any foreign contribution received by an association to its account even if the association does not have registration/prior permission from MHA and subsequent reporting can be made by Banks to MHA?

Ans.  Rule 16 (1) of FCRR, 2011 states that every bank shall send a report to the Central Govt. within 30 days of receipt of foreign contribution by any person who is required to obtain a certificate a registration or prior permission under the Act, but who was not granted such certificate or prior permission on the date of receipt of such remittance. Further, Rule 16(3) prescribes that the banks shall send a report to the Central Govt. within 30 days from the date of such last transaction in respect of receipt of any foreign contribution in excess of Rs.1 Crore or equivalent thereto in a single transaction or in transactions within a duration of 30 days, by any person whether registered or not under the Act.

In view of the above, it follows that bank may credit any foreign contribution received by an Association without registration or prior permission. However, while the banks can prevent such a situation in cases where a cheque is presented by the recipient of foreign contribution for deposit in its savings/current account, it may not always be possible when the foreign remittance is through wire transfer. Therefore, in all such cases, besides sending a report to MHA as per Rule, the bank should not allow any withdrawal or transfer or utilisation of the FC amount till such time the Association produces documentary evidence from MHA permitting it to do so.

Q.32 Should the Banks report transactions pertaining to foreign contributions which are returned back to the remitter by the beneficiary Association for want of registration/prior permission from MHA?

Ans.  It is not necessary for the bank to report such foreign contribution that is returned to the donor without crediting in the account of the recipient.

Q.33 Whether reporting by Banks is also applicable for transfer of funds between FCRA accounts of two or more associations?

Ans.  Yes. Reporting by Banks is also applicable to transfer of funds from one FCRA registered Association to another.

Q.34 Whether the reference period prescribed in Rule 16(3) of FCRR, 2011 for reporting by Banks in respect of transactions during 30-days period should mean calendar month?

Ans.  For the purpose of reporting to MHA, 30 days period may be construed as a calendar month.

 

Q.35 What are the conditions to be met for the grant of registration and prior permission?

Ans.  In terms of Sec.12 (4) of FCRA, 2010, the following shall be the conditions for the grant of registration and prior permission:

(a)    The ‘person’ making an application for registration or grant of prior permission-

(i)         is not fictitious or benami;

(ii)       has not been prosecuted or convicted for indulging in activities aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious faith to another;

(iii)      has not been prosecuted or convicted for creating communal tension or disharmony in any specified district or any other part of the country;

(iv)     has not been found guilty of diversion or misutilization of its funds;

(v)       is not engaged or likely to engage in propagation of sedition or advocate violent methods to achieve its ends;

(vi)     is not likely to use the foreign contribution for personal gains or divert it for undesirable purposes;

(vii)    has not contravened any of the provisions of this Act;

(viii)  has not been prohibited from accepting foreign contribution;

(ix)     the person being an individual, such individual has neither been convicted under any law for the time being in force nor any prosecution for any offence is pending against him.

(x)       the person being other than an individual, any of its directors or office bearers has neither been convicted under any law for the time being in force nor any prosecution for any offence is pending against him.

(b) the acceptance of foreign contribution by the association/ person is not likely to affect prejudicially –

(i) the sovereignty and integrity of India; or

(ii) the security, strategic, scientific or economic interest of the State; or

(iii) the public interest; or

(iv) freedom or fairness of election to any Legislature; or

(v) friendly relation with any foreign State; or

(vi) harmony between religious, racial, social, linguistic, regional groups, castes or communities.

(c) the acceptance of foreign contribution-

(i) shall not lead to incitement of an offence;

(ii) shall not endanger the life or physical safety of any person.

Q.36 Can a private limited company or a partnership firm get registration or prior permission under FCRA, 2010?

Ans.  As per the definition of the “person” in the FC(R)Act, 2010 which includes an “association” which in turn is defined as an association of individuals, whether incorporated or not, having an office in India and includes a society, whether registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or not, and any other organisation, by whatever name called, a private limited company too may seek prior permission/ registration for receiving foreign funds in case they wish to do some charitable work at some point of time.

Q. 37 Whether an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) can be given registration or prior permission to accept foreign contribution in terms of section 11 of FCRA, 2010?

Ans.  The definition of the ‘person’ in the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 includes any individual and ‘Hindu Undivided Family’ among others. As such an Individual or an HUF is also eligible to apply for prior permission to accept foreign contribution.

Q.38 Whether infusion of foreign share capital in a company registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 attracts the provisions of FCRA, 2010?

Ans.  Yes, infusion of foreign share capital in a company registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 is treated as foreign contribution.

Q.39 Is recommendation of District Collector or Deputy Commissioner or District Magistrate mandatory for submission of an application for registration or prior permission?

Ans.  No. Submission of verification certificate from the District Collector or Deputy Commissioner or District Magistrate is not mandatory. However, in certain cases, if the amount of foreign contribution for which prior permission is being sought is less than Rs.50 lakh, submission of such a certificate assists in speedy clearance of the application.

Q.40 If an application for registration or prior permission is submitted online by an association, does it need to submit that application in physical form also?

Ans.  Yes. When an application is filed online, a printout of the same is to be taken after submission and thereafter, it should be submitted, duly signed by the Chief Functionary of the Association, along with the requisite documents to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The prescribed forms for submission of application for grant of Registration and Prior Permission are FC-3 and FC-4 respectively. The forms are available at MHA website http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-3.pdf and http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-4.pdf respectively.

Q.41 What are the documents to be enclosed with the application?

Ans.

(a)  Following documents should be enclosed with the application for grant of Registration:

(a)    Hard copy of the online application, duly signed by the Chief Functionary of the association;

(b)   Certified copy of registration certificate or Trust deed etc., as the case may be;

(c)    Activity Report indicating details of activities during the last three years;

(d)   Copies of audited statement of accounts for the past three years (Assets and Liabilities, Receipt and Payment, Income and Expenditure);

(e)   If functioning as editor, owner, printer or publisher of a publication registered under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, a certificate from the Registrar of Newspapers for India that the publication is not a newspaper in terms of section 1(1) of the said Act.

(f)     Fee of Rs. 2000/- by means of demand draft or banker’s cheque in favour of the “Pay and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs”, payable at New Delhi.

(b) Following documents should be enclosed with the application for grant of Prior Permission:

(i)      Hard copy of the online application, duly signed by the Chief Functionary of the association;

(ii)    Certified copy of registration certificate or Trust deed etc., as the case may be;

(iii)   Commitment letter from foreign donor specifying the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is proposed to be given;

(iv)  Copy of the project report for which foreign contribution is solicited/being offered and is proposed to be utilised;

(v)    If functioning as editor, owner, printer or publisher of a publication registered under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, a certificate from the Registrar of Newspapers for India that the publication is not a newspaper in terms of section 1(1) of the said Act.

(vi)  Fee of Rs. 1000/- by means of demand draft or banker’s cheque in favour of the “Pay and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs”, payable at New Delhi.

Note: The hard copy of the on-line application along with all the documents mentioned above must reach the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division (FCRA Wing), NDCC-II Building, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi – 110 001 within thirty days of the submission of the on-line application, failing which the request of the person for grant of registration or prior permission, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have ceased.

Q.42 How to find the status of pending application for registration/prior permission?

Ans.  Status of pending applications for grant of registration or prior permission may be checked on-line from the Ministry of Home Affairs web-site – http://mha.nic.in/fcraweb/fc_online.htm . One needs to fill in the numbers on acknowledgement letter or any correspondence from MHA (Foreigners Division) in the blank format which pops up on the screen after selection of status enquiry icon (registration/prior

permission, as the case may be)

Q.43 Whether foreigners can be appointed as Executive Committee members of an association seeking registration or prior permission?

Ans.  Organisations having foreign nationals, other than of Indian origin, as members of their executive committees or governing bodies are generally not permitted to receive foreign contribution. Foreigners may, however, be allowed to be associated with such associations in an ex-officio capacity, representing multilateral bodies, foreign contribution from whom is exempted from the purview of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, or in a purely honorary capacity depending upon the persons stature in his/her field of activity. Subject to relaxation given on a case to case basis, foreign nationals fulfilling the following conditions may be appointed as Executive Committee members, after obtaining prior approval of the Central Government:

(i)      the foreigner is married to an Indian citizen;

(ii)    the foreigner has been living and working in India for at least five years;

(iii)   the foreigner has made available his/her specialized knowledge, especially in the medical and health related fields on a voluntary basis in India, in the past;

(iv)  the foreigner is part of the Board of Trustees/Executive Committee in terms of the provisions in an inter-governmental agreement;

(v)    the foreigner is part of the Board of Trustee/Executive Committee, in an ex-officio capacity representing a multilateral body which is exempted from the definition of foreign source. The need for such an appointment should, however, be adequately justified.

Q.44 Whether Government servants, Judges and employees of a Government owned/controlled company/body can be on the executive committees/boards of an association?

Ans.  Yes. The legal entity of a ‘person’ under FCRA, 2010 is distinct from an individual person. Therefore, individuals who cannot receive foreign contribution may happen to be on the executive committees/boards of such an association.

Q.45 Whether organisations under Central/State Governments are required to obtain registration or prior permission under FCRA, 2010 for accepting foreign contribution?

Ans.  In terms of Gazette Notification S.O. 1492(E) dated 01.07.2011,

http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/ExempStatBodi-010711.pdf all statutory bodies constituted or established by or under a Central Act or State Act requiring to have their accounts compulsorily audited by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India are exempted from all the provisions of FCRA, 2010.

Q.46 What is the procedure for seeking change in the name/address of an association registered under FCRA?

Ans.  For seeking change in the name/address of the association, one should use the prescribed form available on MHA’s website http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/chng_name_addr.pdf and submit the same along with the requisite documents specified therein.

Q.47 What is the procedure for change of designated FC Bank Account?

Ans.  For change of the bank account, an application in prescribed form mentioning the details of the old bank account and the proposed new bank account along with justification for change of designated bank, name/ address of the society, copy of registration under FCRA, copy of fresh resolution of the executive committee ( in English or Hindi) for change of designated back account, certificate from the proposed bank (copy of Bank Pass Book is not acceptable) that the account is being opened exclusively for FCRA, may be submitted to MHA. This form is available on website http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/chng_bank_acnt.pdf

Q.48 Whether intimation regarding the change of Members of the Executive Committee/Governing Council of the association is to be given to the Government?

Ans.  Yes. If at any point of time, such change causes replacement of 50% or more of such Members of the Executive Committee/Governing Council of the association, intimation is to be given to MHA within thirty days of such change in accordance with the undertaking & declaration given by the association in its application for registration or prior permission, as the case may be. Further, as per the undertaking & declaration, the association should not accept any foreign contribution except with prior permission till the permission to replace the office bearer(s) has been granted by MHA.

Q.49 What is the procedure for filing Annual Returns?

Ans.  An association permitted to accept foreign contribution is required under law to maintain separate set of accounts and records exclusively for the foreign contribution received and submit an annual return, duly certified by a Chartered Accountant, giving details of the receipt and purpose-wise utilisation of the foreign contribution. The return is to be filed for every financial year (1st April to 31st March) within a period of nine months from the closure of the year i.e. by 31st December each year. Submission of a ‘Nil’ return, even if there is no receipt/utilization of foreign contribution during the year, is mandatory. The return is to be submitted, in prescribed Form FC – 6, duly accompanied with the balance sheet and statement of receipt and payment, which is certified by a Chartered Accountant. The form is available on MHA’s web-site – http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-6.pdf. For further details, please refer to Sections 17, 18 and 19 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 17 of FCRR, 2011. Note: It may be noted that the annual return for the financial year 2010 – 2011 was to be filed by the 31st December, 2011 in Form FC-3, i.e., as per FCRA, 1976.

Q.50 For how many years an association which has been granted prior permission to receive foreign contribution should file the mandatory annual return?

Ans.  ‘Prior permission’ is granted to an association to receive a specific amount of foreign contribution from a specific donor for a specific purpose. After receipt of approval from the Government, the association should submit the mandatory return in FC-6 form for receipt and utilisation of the foreign contribution on a yearly basis, till the amount of foreign contribution is fully utilised. Even if no transaction takes place during a year, a NIL return should be submitted.

Q.51 What are the offences and penalties under FCRA, 2010?

Ans.  Section 11 of the FCRA, 2010 prescribes that no person, save as otherwise provided in the Act, shall accept foreign contribution unless such person obtains a certificate of registration or prior permission of the Central Government. Therefore, acceptance of foreign contribution without obtaining registration or prior permission from the Central Government constitutes an offence under the Act and is punishable.

The provisions of FCRA, 2010 regarding offences and penalties are ‒

Section 33: Making of false statement, declaration or delivering false accounts:

Any person, subject to this Act, who knowingly, —

(a) gives false intimation under sub-section (c) of section 9 or section 18; or

(b) seeks prior permission or registration by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of material fact, shall, on conviction by a court, be liable to imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both.

Section 34: Penalty for article or currency or security obtained in contravention of Section 10:

If any person, on whom any prohibitory order has been served under section 10, pays, delivers, transfers or otherwise deals with, in any manner whatsoever, any article or currency or security, whether Indian or foreign, in contravention of such prohibitory order, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both; and notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the court trying such contravention may also impose on the person convicted an additional fine equivalent to the market value of the article or the amount of the currency or security in respect of which the prohibitory order has been contravened by him or such part thereof as the court may deem fit.

Section 35: Punishment for contravention of any provision of the Act:

Whoever accepts, or assists any person, political party or organisation in accepting, any foreign contribution or any currency or security from a foreign source, in contravention of any provision of this Act or any rule or order made thereunder, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 36: Powers to impose additional fine where article or currency or security is not available for confiscation:

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the court trying a person, who, in relation to any article or currency or security, whether Indian or foreign, does or omits to do any act which act or omission would render such article or currency or security liable to confiscation under this Act, may, in the event of the conviction of such person for the act or omission aforesaid, impose on such person a fine not exceeding five times the value of the article or currency or security or one thousand rupees, whichever is more, if such article or currency or security is not available for confiscation, and the fine so imposed shall be in addition to any other fine which may be imposed on such person under this Act.

Section 37: Penalty for offences where no separate punishment has been provided:

Whoever fails to comply with any provision of this Act for which no separate penalty has been provided in this Act shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine or with both.

Section 38: Prohibition of acceptance of foreign contribution:

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, whoever, having been convicted of any offence under section 35 or section 37, in so far as such offence relates to the acceptance or utilisation of foreign contribution, is again convicted of such offence shall not accept any foreign contribution for a period of three years from the date of the subsequent conviction.

Section 39: Offences by companies:

(1) Where an offence under this Act or any rule or order made there under has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly;

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render such person liable to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act or any rule or order made there under has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Explanation – for the purposes of this section,‒

(a) “company” means any body corporate and includes a firm, society, trade union or other association of individuals; and

(b) ‘director” in relation to a firm, society, trade union or other association of individuals, means a partner in the firm or a members of the governing body of such society, trade union or other association of individuals.

Section 40: Bar on prosecution of offences under the Act:

No court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act, except with the previous sanction of the Central Government or any officer authorised by that Government in this behalf.

Section 41: Compounding of certain offences:

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, any offence punishable under this Act (whether committed by an individual or association or any officer or employee thereof), not being an offence punishable with imprisonment only, may, before the institution of any prosecution, be compounded by such officers or authorities and for such sums as the Central Government may, by notification in the official gazette, specify in this behalf.

(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to an offence committed byan individual or association or its officer or other employee within a period of three years from the date on which a similar offence committed by it or him was compounded under this section.

Explanation – For the purposes of this section, any second or subsequent offence committed after the expiry of a period of three years from the date on which the offence was previously compounded, shall be deemed to be a first offence.

(3) Every officer or authority referred to in sub-section (1) shall exercise the powers to compound an offence, subject to the direction, control and supervisions of the Central Government.

(4) Every application for the compounding of an offence shall be made to the officer or authority referred to in sub-section (1) in such form and manner along with such fee as may be prescribed.

(5) Where any offence is compounded before the institution of any prosecution, no prosecution shall be instituted in relation to such offence, against the offender in relation to whom the offence is so compounded.

(6) Every officer or authority referred to in sub-section (1), while dealing with a proposal for the compounding of an offence for a default in compliance with any provision of this Act which requires by an individual or association or its officer or other employee to obtain permission to file or register with or deliver or sent to, the Central Government or any prescribed authority any return account or other document, may, direct by order, if he or it thinks fit to do so, any individual or association or its officer or other employee to file or register with, such return, account or other document within such time as may be specified in the order.

Q.52 Which are the offences that can be compounded and what would be the penalties there for?

Ans.  In terms of Gazette Notification S.O. 1976 (E) dated 26.08.2011, http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/ComOffNoti-260811.pdf the categories of offences that can be compounded under section 41 of FCRA, 2010 and the quantum of penalty for compounding, as indicated against each of the offences, are ‒

Sl. No Nature of offence  Quantum of penalty
(i) Acceptance of cheque or draft towards foreign contribution by a ‘person’ without registration or prior permission of the Central Government even in cases where the cheque or draft has not been deposited in a Bank by the ‘person’.  Rs. 10,000/- or 2 per cent of the foreign contribution involved, whichever is higher.
(ii) Acceptance of cheque or draft by a ‘person’ towards foreign contribution without registration or prior permission of the Central Government and depositing the same in a Bank notwithstanding non-utilisation of the amount of the foreign contribution.  Rs. 25,000/- or 3 per cent of the foreign contribution involved, whichever is higher.
(iii) Acceptance of foreign contribution by a ‘person’ without registration or prior permission of the Central Government and utilisation of the same notwithstanding any inquiry which revealed that the contribution received was not diverted towards any purpose other than the objectives or purpose for which the same was received, utilisation of the contribution was as per the objectives of receipt of the same and records of receipt and utilisation have been kept properly.  Rs. 1,00,000/- or 5 per cent of the foreign contribution involved, whichever is higher.
(iv) Acceptance of foreign contribution in kind by a ‘person’ without registration or prior permission of the Central Government notwithstanding that nothing adverse was reported after inquiry. Rs.10,000/- or 2 per cent of the foreign contribution involved, whichever is higher.

Q.53 How to apply for compounding of an offence under FCRA, 2010?

Ans.  An application for the compounding of an offence under section 41 is to be made to the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi on a plain paper along with a fee of Rs.1000/- (One Thousand only) in the form of a demand draft or a banker’s cheque in favour of the “Pay and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs”, payable at New Delhi.

Q.54 What happens after an offence is compounded?

Ans.  After payment of the penalty imposed and compounding of the offence, the person may be granted registration or prior permission, as the case may be, subject to its fulfilling all parameters.

Q.55 What if the person is unwilling or unable to pay the penalty imposed?

Ans.  In the event of failure to pay the penalty, for whatever reason, necessary action for prosecution of the person shall be initiated.

Q.56 Which are the investigating agencies for investigating and prosecuting a person for violation of FCRA?

Ans.  In terms of Gazette Notification S.O. 2446 (E) dated 27.10.2011, The Central Bureau of Investigation or the investigating agencies (Crime Branch) of the State Governments, cause of action which arises in their respective States, are the designated agencies for investigating and prosecuting a person for violation of FCRA.

Q.57 Can the Government cancel the certificate of registration granted to a person under FCRA?

Ans.  Yes. The conditions for cancellation of certificate, as prescribed under section 14 of FCRA, 2010 are ‒ 14 (1) The Central Government may, if it is satisfied after making such inquiry as it may deem fit, by an order, cancel the certificate if —

(a)    the holder of the certificate has made a statement in, or in relation to, the application for the grant of registration or renewal thereof, which is incorrect or false; or

(b)   the holder of the certificate has violated any of the terms and conditions of the certificate or renewal thereof; or

(c)    in the opinion of the Central Government, it is necessary in the public interest to cancel the certificate; or

(d)   the holder of the certificate has violated any of the provisions of this Act or rules or order made there under.

(e)   if the holder of the certificate has not been engaged in any reasonable activity in its chosen field for the benefit of the society for two consecutive years or has become defunct.

14 (2) No order of cancellation of certificate under this section shall be made unless the person concerned has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

14 (3) Any person whose certificate has been cancelled under this section shall not be eligible for registration or grant of prior permission for a period of three years from the date of cancellation

of such certificate.

Q.58 Can the Government suspend the certificate of registration granted to a person under FCRA?

Ans.  The conditions for suspension of certificate, as prescribed under section 13 of FCRA, 2010 are ‒

13(1) Where the Central Government, for reasons to be recorded in writing, is satisfied that pending consideration of the question of cancelling the certificate on any of the grounds mentioned in

sub-section (1) of Section, 14, it is necessary so to do, it may, by order in writing, suspend the certificate for such period not exceeding one hundred and eighty days as may be specified in the order.

13(2) Every person whose certificate has been suspended shall ‒

(a)    not receive any foreign contribution during the period of suspension of certificate:

Provided that the Central Government, on an application made by such person, if it considers appropriate, allow receipt of any foreign contribution by such person on such terms and conditions as it may specify;

(b)   utilise, in the prescribed manner, the foreign contribution in his custody with the prior approval of the Central Government.

In terms of Rule 14 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) rules, 2011, the unspent amount that can be utilised in case of suspension of a certificate of registration may be as under: -

(a)    In case the certificate of registration is suspended under sub-section (1) of section 13 of the Act, up to twenty-five per cent of the unutilised amount may be spent, with the prior approval of the Central Government, for the declared aims and objects for which the foreign contribution was received.

(b)   The remaining seventy-five per cent of the unutilised foreign contribution shall be utilised only after revocation of suspension of the certificate of registration.

Q.59 Can an organization, whose violation under FCRA, 1976 has been condoned, apply for registration/prior permission?

Ans.  After the violation committed by an association has been condoned, the association can apply for prior permission (PP) only by submitting an application in form FC-4 http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-4.pdf . Once the PP has been granted and foreign contribution received for specific purpose has been fully/partially utilized and organisation has submitted annual FC-6 http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-6.pdf  returns and accounts in prescribed format pertaining to the PP, it becomes eligible for consideration of registration under FCRA. Registration would be granted under FCRA, if other parameters are fulfilled by the association.

Q.60 What is the status of the applications submitted under the repealed FCRA, 1976 but have not been disposed of?

Ans.  In terms of Rule 9(5) of FCRR, 2011, every application made for registration or prior permission under FCRA, 1976 but not disposed of before the date of commencement of these rules, i.e., 01.05.2011, shall be deemed to be an application for registration or prior permission, as the case may be, under FCRR, 2011 subject to the condition that the applicant furnishes the prescribed fees for such registration or prior permission, as the case may be.

Q.61 Whether the registration certificate or prior permission granted under the repealed FCRA, 1976 shall remain valid when FCRA, 2010 has come into force?

Ans.  Yes. An association granted prior permission or registration under the repealed FCRA, 1976 shall be deemed to have been registered or granted prior permission, as the case may be, under FCRA, 2010. Registration granted under FCRA, 1976 shall remain valid for a period of 5 years from the 1st May, 2011, i.e., up to the 30th April, 2016.

 

Q. 62 Whether prior permission granted under FCRA, 1976 would also remain valid for next 5 years from the 1st May, 2011, i.e., the date when FCRA, 2010 came into force?

Ans.  Prior permission granted under FCRA, 1976 as also under FCRA 2010 remains valid till receipt and full utilisation of the amount of FC for which the permission was/is granted.

Q.63 Whether the certificate of registration is to be renewed and what is the procedure for such renewal?

Ans.  Section 16 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 12 of FCRR, 2011 may please be seen in this regard.

Q.64 When should an Association which has been granted registration under FCRA, 1976 should apply for renewal of registration?

Ans.  In terms of Rule 12 (2) of FCRR, 2011, an Association registered under FCRA should apply in Form FC-5 for renewal of its registration six months before the date of expiry of the certificate of registration. Since registration granted to Associations under the repealed FCRA, 1976 shall be valid up to 30th April, 2016, such Associations should apply for renewal of their registration on or before 1st November, 2015.

An Association granted registration under FCRA, 2010, i.e., after 1st May, 2011, shall have to apply for renewal of registration six months before the date of expiry of the validity of its certificate of registration. Associations implementing an ongoing multi-year project should apply for renewal twelve months before the date of expiry of the certificate of registration.

Q.65 What is foreign hospitality?

Ans.  Foreign Hospitality means any offer, not being a purely casual one, made in cash or kind by a foreign source for providing a person with the costs of travel to any foreign country or territory or with free board, lodging, transport or medical treatment.

Q.66 Who cannot accept foreign hospitality without prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs?

Ans.  Section 6 of FCRA, 2010 prescribes that “No member of a Legislature or office bearer of a political party or Judge or Government servant or employee of any corporation or any other body owned or controlled by the Government shall, while visiting any country or territory outside India, accept, except with the prior permission of the Central Government any foreign hospitality. Provided that it shall not be necessary to obtain any such permission for an emergent medical aide needed on account of sudden illness contracted during a visit outside India, but, where such foreign hospitality has been received, the person receiving such hospitality shall give, within one month from the date of receipt of such hospitality an intimation to the Central Government as to the receipt of such hospitality, and the source from which, and the manner in which, such hospitality was received by him.”

Q.67 Whether approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs is required in cases where the proposed foreign visit is being undertaken by a person in his/her personal capacity and the entire expenditure thereon is being met by the person concerned?

Ans.  No. Any person belonging to any of the categories specified in Section 6 of FCRA, 2010 would require such approval only if the person concerned is seeking foreign hospitality from a foreign source.

Q.68 How one can seek permission of the Government for receiving foreign hospitality?

Ans.  Application form (Form FC-2) for this purpose is available on MHA’s web-site – http://mha.nic.in/fcra/forms/fc-2.pdf . In terms of Rule 7 of FCRR, 2011:

(i)      Every application for acceptance of foreign hospitality shall be accompanied by an invitation letter from the host or the host country, as the case may be, and administrative clearance of the Ministry or department concerned in case of visits sponsored by a Ministry or department of the Government.

(ii)    The application for grant of permission to accept foreign hospitality must reach the appropriate authority ordinarily two weeks before the proposed date of onward journey.

(iii)   In case of emergent medical aid needed on account of sudden illness during a visit abroad, the acceptance of foreign hospitality shall be required to be intimated to the Central Government within sixty days of such receipt giving full details including the source, approximate value in Indian Rupees, and the purpose for which and the manner in which it was utilized.

Provided that no such intimation is required if the value of such hospitality in emergent medical aid is up to one lakh rupees or equivalent thereto.

Foot Note:

For applicants who are individuals, the criteria of registration under Societies/Trust Act will not be applicable.

Source:

http://mha.nic.in/fcra.htm

This article is published for educational purposes only.

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STRESS MANAGEMENT AT WORK

What is stress?

Stress is the reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed upon them. It arises when they worry that they can’t cope. Stress is the “wear and tear” our minds and bodies experience as we attempt to cope with our continually changing environment .While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and impact your physical and emotional health. And your ability to deal with it can mean the difference between success or failure. You can’t control everything in your work environment, even when you’re stuck in a difficult situation. Finding ways to manage workplace stress isn’t about making huge changes or rethinking career ambitions, but rather about focusing on the one thing that’s always within your control you.

Stress reaction can be positive or negative. — Positive stress reaction leads to increased performance, feelings of success and confidence and allows the body to return to the normal, non-stress state. Negative stress or mismanaged stress, keeps the physical reaction of the body turned on and does not let the body completely recover to the non-stress state.

Signs and Symptoms of Workplace Stress

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Disorientation                                                                           
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Trouble concentrating                                                                  
  • Procrastinating
  • Social withdrawal                                                                         
  • Performances dip                                                                 
  • Uncharacteristic errors or missed deadlines

 Key Stress Factors 

  • Fear of being laid off or budget cuts
  • More overtime due to staff cutbacks
  • Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction
  • Pressure to work at optimum levels – all the time!
  • Not knowing what you want or if you’re getting it – poor planning
  • The feeling that there’s too much to do. One can have this feeling even if there’s hardly anything to do at all.
  • Not enjoying your job. This can be caused by lots of things, for example, not knowing what you want, not eating well, etc. However, most people always blame their jobs.
  • Conflicting demands on the job.
  • Insufficient resources to do the job.
  • Not feeling appreciated.
  • Monotonous nature of job
  • Unsafe and unhealthy working conditions
  • Lack of confidentiality
  • Task demands- having to repeatedly learn new processes, meeting unrealistic deadlines.
  • Time demands- frequent deadlines, schedule conflicts, “too much to do,” interruptions and unpredictable schedules (particularly for employees who have daily rhythms in shift work).
  • Physical demands environment (weather, noise, vibration) and activity (standing, walking, bending, lifting).
  • Role demandsadded responsibility in supervision and leadership.
  • Interpersonal demandsinteracting with public, customers, co-workers.

 ABC STRATEGY OF STRESS

A = AWARENESS (What causes you stress? How do you react?)

B = BALANCE (There is a fine line between positive / negative stress .How much can you cope with before it becomes negative?)

C = CONTROL (What can you do to help yourself combat the negative effects of stress?)

Stress Management Techniques

  • Change your thinking
  • Change your behaviour
  • Change your lifestyle

 Task management tips for reducing job stress

  • Prioritize tasks. Make a list of tasks you have to do, and tackle them in order of importance. Do the high-priority items first. If you have something particularly unpleasant to do, get it over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result.
  • Break projects into small steps. If a large project seems overwhelming, make a step-by-step plan. Focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.
  • Delegate responsibility. You don’t have to do it all yourself. If other people can take care of the task, why not let them? Let go of the desire to control or oversee every little step. You’ll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process.
  • Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to contribute differently to a task, revise a deadline, or change their behavior at work, be willing to do the same. Sometimes, if you can both bend a little, you’ll be able to find a happy middle ground that reduces the stress levels for everyone concerned.
  • Taking responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being.
  • Avoiding pitfalls by identifying knee jerk habits and negative attitudes that add to the stress you experience at work.
  • Learning better communication skills to ease and improve your relationships with management and co employees.

 Individual strategies for managing stress 

  • Use basic techniques of planning, problem solving and decision making.
  • Find some way to realistically and practically analyze your time. Logging your time for a week in 15-minute intervals is not that hard and does not take up that much time. Do it for a week and review your results.
  • Do a “to do” list for your day. Do it at the end of the previous day. Mark items as “A” and “B” in priority. Set aside two hours right away each day to do the important “A” items and then do the “B” items in the afternoon. Let your answering machine take your calls during your “A” time.
  • Don’t be a YES body – say no to things if you can’t do them and don’t over stretch or over commit yourself, of you know you will end up compromising in some way to finish the project.
  • At the end of your day, spend five minutes cleaning up your space. Use this time, too, to organize your space, including your desktop. That’ll give you a clean start for the next day.
  • Learn the difference between “Where can I help?” and “Where am I really needed?” Experienced leaders learn that the last question is much more important than the former.
  • Learn the difference between “Do I need to do this now?” and “Do I need to do this at all?” Experienced leaders learn how to quickly answer this question when faced with a new task.
  • Use a “Do Not Disturb” sign! During the early part of the day, when you’re attending to your important items (your “A” list), hang this sign on the doorknob outside your door.
  • Sort your mail into categories including “read now”, “handle now” and “read later”. You’ll quickly get a knack for sorting through your mail. You’ll also notice that much of what you think you need to read later wasn’t really all that important anyway.
  • Read your mail at the same time each day. That way, you’ll likely get to your mail on a regular basis and won’t become distracted into any certain piece of mail that ends up taking too much of your time.
  • Have a place for everything and put everything in its place. That way, you’ll know where to find it when you need it. Another important outcome is that your people will see that you are somewhat organized, rather than out of control.
  • Best suggestion for saving time – schedule 10 minutes to do nothing. That time can be used to just sit and clear your mind. You’ll end up thinking more clearly, resulting in more time in your day. The best outcome of this practice is that it reminds you that you’re not a slave to a clock – and that if you take 10 minutes out of your day, you and your organization won’t fall apart.
  • Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Get up and walk around during your lunch break, and go outside on nice days. Take a break and talk to people in the workplace at least twice a day.
  •  Create an “I Did” list (list of daily accomplishments) at the end of each day. This list will help you to recognize all the services you provide
  •  At the end of the day, lay out one project to do first thing in the morning. When you come in the next day, do not check your voice mail or email until you have finished that project. This will provide a sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction of a completed task. This will boost the employees’ confidence and self esteem and stop the unorganized thinking that can ensue from heavy unmanageable workloads.
  • Write weekly status reports. Include what you’ve accomplished last week and plan to do next week. Include any current issues or recommendations that you must report to your boss. Give the written status report to your boss on a weekly basis.
  •  Do a deep breathing exercise to relax and mentally debrief.
  • Take time away. When stress is mounting at work, try to take a quick break and move away from the stressful situation. Take a stroll outside the workplace if possible, or spend a few minutes meditating in the break room. Physical movement or finding a quiet place to regain your balance can quickly reduce stress.
  • Talk it over with someone. In some situations, simply sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust can help reduce stress. Talking over a problem with someone who is both supportive and empathetic can be a great way to let off steam and relieve stress.
  • Connect with others at work. Developing friendships with some of your co-workers can help buffer you from the negative effects of stress. Remember to listen to them and offer support when they are in need as well.
  • Look for humor in the situation. When used appropriately, humor is a great way to relieve stress in the workplace.

 Some suggestions for creating a more mellow workplace

  • Get to the office 15 minutes earlier every day, thus taking the “rush” out of the morning.
  • Don’t trust your memory, write everything down.
  • Try not to over schedule yourself or your projects. Don’t promise what you can’t easily deliver.
  • Be realistic regarding your standards. Don’t set them beyond your reach.
  • Plan “B” should always be ready.
  • Blow off steam. Get things off your chest.
  • Take some quiet time for meditation or deep breathing, particularly when you feel stress building.
  • Each evening, prioritize activities for the next day.
  • Establish deadlines for yourself, and stick to them.
  • Before making or taking a phone call, ask yourself, “Is this call really necessary?”
  • Eliminate or deflect drop-in visitors that waste your time.
  • Try to avoid rush hour by changing your work schedule.
  • Ask yourself if a job can be delegated to someone else.
  • Don’t always say “yes” to tasks thrown your way.
  • Decide if a meeting is really necessary. Are there alternate ways to distribute or collect information?
  • Try to see the other person’s point of view. Listen and gain insight.
  • Stay positive. Focus on the resources you have, instead of those you lack.

 Role of “Gumption”

Everything good usually starts with gumption. It’s picking yourself up, deciding that you could be happier, that you want to be happier – and then doing one small thing to get you started and keep you going. Boredom and blaming are the opposite of gumption. Stress and time management start with gumption. It’s the trying that counts. Poor time and stress management often comes from doing the same thing harder, rather than smarter.

 A variety of work related factors have been found to negatively affect well-being and although no single factor is likely to cause stress a combination of problems can affect an individual’s ability to cope with stress at work. Factors which may contribute towards stress at work include:-

• Lack of control over work 
• Underutilization of skills
• Too high a work load, impossible deadlines
• Too low a work load, no or few challenges
• Low task variety 
• High uncertainty e.g. lack of clear priorities and targets, job insecurity 
• Low pay 
• Poor working conditions e.g. noise, overcrowding, lack of ventilation, excessive heat, inadequate breaks
• Low inter personal support e.g. via inadequate or insensitive management, hostility from colleagues. 
• Undervalued social position.

This article is published for educational purposes only.

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4 Ways your Employee Can Be More Productive !!

A Business success increasingly depends on the knowledge, skills and abilities of employees particularly as they help establish a set of core competencies that distinguish your Company.

In a competitive world like today, everybody wants to come first on the career race. It’s an era where we start feeling that we do not have enough hours in a day. It’s very important to work smarter to achieve our goal. But one can massively increase their own productivity by using some constructive steps.

Here are some tips to help you work smarter so you can be more productive at work.

1. Prioritize Your Tasks

Prioritize your task itself is big task. Think what more important, give priority to every task is and then start completing. Try creating a priority list at the start of each day. Focuses on the things that can fulfill your goal and according to that start prioritize.

2. Allowing Others to Help

It’s not a good idea to do all the things all alone. Delegate your work. It will reduce your workload and moreover you will get support from others. Don’t feel that if you ask for help you will look weak, rather than struggle all alone, asking for support can be a better option. It will help you to get more ideas and moreover it will be less time-consuming.

3. Stay up to Date

Collect all the information about your field and stay up to date. Try talking to the experts in  your profession and learn about the different opportunities and the changes. The more information you can collect about your domain, the better you’ll be able to respond to changes and take advantage of new trends.

4. Experiment

You can actually be more productive by taking yourself out to experiment. By training yourself to chase new experiences and learn new skills, you allow yourself to make mistakes and pick up new approaches to the same old problems. While this experimental approach may not increase productivity right out of the gate, but in the long run it will help you to grow and save time.

What’s your thought about this article!! We welcome your valuable comments and feedback!!

This article is published for educational purposes only.

visit us at www.resolveindia.com

Resolve Payroll Services – For complex, multi-location and highly customized payroll needs.

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Filed under 2012, Payroll, September 2012

Making Provident Fund payments through online – SBI

This article is to facilitate online payment of Provident fund remittances for those firms which are having SBI Corporate account.

First visit EPFO site and generate monthly contribution challan, then follow it by making remittance in SBI online. The Process is detailed below.

EPFO site

  1. Login to the EPF site with your user name and password
  2. Complete the monthly contribution details as per the format prescribed in the web site
  3. Upload the text format of the contribution statement
  4. Approve the same once the statement is uploaded
  5. Download the contribution statement, challan and acknowledgement copy from the menu “download challan”
  6. TRRN no: will be displayed on the right hand side of the challan.

 Remember:

  •  Option is also provided to download the Statement challan in PDF.
  • The challan is valid only for a period of 15 days from the date of generation. If remittance is done after the due date, challan will not be accepted and it has to re-uploaded once again and new TRRN no will be generated for the new

SBI Net Banking

  1. Now, Login to your SBI account as Corporate User / Saral User Payments and Transfers Pay EPF
  1. Enter the Valid TRRN generated on the EPF Website and click on Submit
  1. Select the Account number from which payment is to be made and click on Submit
  1. Verify the particulars and click on Confirm
  1. Success response is displayed. The e-cheque is available for authorization.
  1. The e-Cheque is available in authoriser’s inbox. The authorizer can authorize the e-Cheque as usual.
  1. After authorization, the challan can be viewed/ printed from the following menu. Reports Reprint Challan > e-pay order number >view challan details >Print

With this you successfully complete your EPF online remittance through SBI.

This article is published for educational purposes only.

visit us at www.resolveindia.com

Resolve Payroll Services – For complex, multi-location and highly customized payroll needs.

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Filed under 2012, August 2012, Payroll

EPFO Introducing Electronic Challan cum Return(ECR) effective April 2012 !!

EPFO is introducing  Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) effective April 2012  for depositing contributions by all employers.

Copy of the notifications can be downloaded from here and here.

Salient features of the new system are :

  • automatic updating of accounts on receipt of contribution by EPFO
  • Employers can download Annual Accounts slips for their employees for the year 2010-11 onwards from EPFO website
  • No need to file returns in
    • Forms 5,10,3A,6A,12A for un-exempted establishments
    • Forms 3PS,4PS,5PS,6PS,7PS,8PS for exempted establishments
  • No Need for annual updating of accounts
  • Annual Accounts slips starting from 2010-11 will be available for download by employers
  • Auto updating of member basic details for new members and exit details for exiting members
  • Members can get the detailed account statements with all credits and debits from EPFO website effective from 1st May 2012
Important :
for utilising the above new system, all the employers are required to get user Id and Password by logging into EPFO website www.epfindia.gov.in anytime (24X7)

This article is published for educational purposes only.

Resolve Payroll Services – For complex, multi-location and highly customized payroll needs.

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Filed under 2012, March 2012, Payroll

Declaration of Rate of Interest for EPF Members account for the year 2011-12

Please find attached the circular stating the interest rate to be credited for the year 2011-12 as 8.25%.

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March 15, 2012 · 6:43 pm