DMPQ-. Throw light on the major provisions of Foreign contribution (Regulation) amendment act 2020.

. The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha on September 20, 2020.  The Bill amends the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.  The Act regulates the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution by individuals, associations and companies.  Foreign contribution is the donation or transfer of any currency, security or article (of beyond a specified value) by a foreign source.

Prohibition to accept foreign contribution

Under the Act, certain persons are prohibited to accept any foreign contribution.  These include: election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties, among others.  The Bill adds public servants (as defined under the Indian Penal Code) to this list.  Public servant includes any person who is in service or pay of the government, or remunerated by the government for the performance of any public duty.

Transfer of foreign contribution

Under the Act, foreign contribution cannot be transferred to any other person unless such person is also registered to accept foreign contribution (or has obtained prior permission under the Act to obtain foreign contribution).  The Bill amends this to prohibit the transfer of foreign contribution to any other person.  The term ‘person’ under the Act includes an individual, an association, or a registered company.

Aadhaar for registration

The Act states that a person may accept foreign contribution if they have: (i) obtained a certificate of registration from central government, or (ii) not registered, but obtained prior permission from the government to accept foreign contribution.  Any person seeking registration (or renewal of such registration) or prior permission for receiving foreign contribution must make an application to the central government in the prescribed manner.  The Bill adds that any person seeking prior permission, registration or renewal of registration must provide the Aadhaar number of all its office bearers, directors or key functionaries, as an identification document.  In case of a foreigner, they must provide a copy of the passport or the Overseas Citizen of India card for identification.

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