News companies barred from receiving foreign contribution

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New Delhi, May 7: The companies or associations engaged in production and distribution of news and current affairs programmes have been prohibited from receiving any financial contribution from foreign countries.

The change has been effected by the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010 which came into force on May 1 and is an improved version of the now repealed FCRA, 1976.

The new Act incorporates more stringent provisions in order to prevent "misutilisation" of the foreign contribution received by the associations.

The new Act has put in the category, prohibited to accept foreign contributions, organisations of a political nature and any association or company engaged in the production and broadcast of audio or audio visual news or current affairs programme.

Organisations with fictitious or benami accounts, which have indulged in conversions directly or indirectly, created communal tension, supported sedition or have diverted funds earlier would be barred from receiving foreign contributions.

The new act, necessitated by the changed internal security environment and flow of large funds, would rein in "powers" which want to use foreign funds to divide the country on "religious basis".

The new act to regulate the inflow of contributions from abroad by associations working in the country has provisions for suspension as well as cancellation of registration granted in case of violations of the Act. The provisions for suspension and cancellation of registration did not exist in the old Act. 

PTI

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