Oxfam India provided funds to CPR in the form of commission, says CBI

It also said that Oxfam India continued to pay sub grants to various partners even after coming into force of the FCRA Amendment Act, 2020 which prohibits such transfers

IANS New Delhi
Oxfam India

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has lodged a case of alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) against Oxfam India, an NGO, on the request of the Centre, sources said.

"Though Oxfam India's FCRA registration is ceased, it planned to circumvent FCRA by routing funds through other routes. From emails found during an IT survey by the CBDT, it appears that Oxfam India is providing funds to the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) through its associates in the form of commission.

"The same is also reflected in the TDS data of Oxfam India, which shows a payment of Rs 12,71,188 to CPR during 2019-20. Oxfam India got FCRA registration to carry out social activities. However, payment made to CPR through its associates in the form of commission is not in line of its stated objectives. This is violation of FCRA," read the CBI FIR accessed by IANS.

It also said that Oxfam India continued to pay sub grants to various partners even after coming into force of the FCRA Amendment Act, 2020 which prohibits such transfers.

The FCRA Amendment Act states that an FCRA registered association will not be entitled to transfer or sub grant any of the foreign contribution to other organisations whether registered or unregistered under the FCRA, 2010.

The amendment came into force from September 29, 2020.

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"Oxfam India transferred funds to its partner NGOs, violating Section 7 of the FCRA. It appears that Oxfam India used to route funds of its foreign affiliates such as Oxfam Australia, Oxfam Great Britain etc. to selected NGOs in India, and at the same time exercise control over funds and projects.

"From emails found during IT survey by the CBDT, it appears that Oxfam India was planning to route funds to other FCRA-registered associations or through the for-profit consultancy route. Funds transacted through this route aim to circumvent FCRA. This is violation of Sections 8 and 12(4) of the FCRA," the FIR stated.

According to sources, Oxfam India received foreign contributions amounting to Rs 1.50 crore directly into its foreign contribution utilisation account instead of receiving foreign contribution in its FCRA-designated bank account.

As per the FCRA, any foreign contribution has to be received in the designated FCRA account only. After that, it can be transferred to a utilisation account.

"By receiving foreign contributions in an account other than the FCRA designated account, Oxfam India has violated Section 17 of the FCRA," the CBI said.

The FIR also said that email communication found during the IT survey by the CBDT showed that Oxfam India has been planning to pressurise the government for renewal of FCRA through foreign governments and foreign institutions.

Oxfam India has the reach and influence to request multilateral foreign organisations to intervene on its behalf with the Government of India. This exposed Oxfam India as a probable instrument of foreign policy of foreign organisations which have funded Oxfam India liberally over the years. This violates Section 12(4)(1)(ii) of the FCRA.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 11:45 PM IST

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