In a relief to thousands of NGOs, Indian Home Ministry has relaxed the mandatory requirement of getting themselves registered on a Niti Aayog-run online platform to receive foreign donations, officials said Thursday.
With this, the Non-Government Organisations will no longer need to have the unique ID generated through the 'Darpan' portal to get such donations, they said.
The Union Home Ministry had in October 2017 directed all the NGOs, which receive foreign donations, to register themselves with the online platform to ensure better transparency, efficiency and accountability.
The NGOs were then told to register with 'Darpan' with necessary information such as organisation PAN, email, mobile number and name of chief functionary as mandated in the portal to generate the unique identification number or ID.
"Please note that any Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) related services like registration, prior permission, renewal, change details, uploading of annual return etc., shall require the unique Darpan identification number," it had said.
A year after the decision was "reconsidered" and now the registration on Darpan has been made "optional".
"The matter has been reconsidered. It has been decided that the requirement of registration with the Darpan portal will be optional for all NGO seeking FCRA services," an order issued recently by the Home Ministry said.
However, associations/NGOs, which have already registered with the Darpan portal or those which are required to register under the Darpan portal since they receive subsidies/grants/contribution from public funds, may still continue to quote their Darpan identification number while seeking FCRA related services, it said.
The FCRA governs the grant of foreign donations to the NGOs and all such voluntary organisations are required to get themselves registered under this law.
"The Darpan registration was an additional mandatory facility for the NGOs, which has now been made optional," a senior official said.
According to Darpan website, there are 67,139 NGOs enrolled with it.
A total of 23,176 NGOs have received Rs 15,329.16 crore during 2016-17, as per the government data.