Lok Sabha passes Bill to regulate foreign fund flow

     The Lok Sabha on Friday passed a Bill, which aims to check the huge inflow of foreign funds to religious and social organsiations. The new legislation, moved by the Union Home Ministry, received an overwhelming support from the house and passed with majority, as the members had earlier expressed their concerns over the illegal money flow into the country in the wake of changed internal security situation. The Rajya Sabha had on August 19 passed a Bill paving way for a new law to regulate foreign contributions and hospitality by individuals and organisations. The Bill is important in the wake of changed internal security environment and large fund flow. Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Bill, 2006, replaces the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976. It has been reported that once the Bill gets the approval of President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, it will become a law. After the Bill becomes a law, all religious outfits, voluntary organisations and all political parties will have to provide details of the money that they receive from overseas donors. "It will help in debarring people prosecuted or convicted for indulging in activities like forcible religious conversions and those prosecuted or convicted for triggering communal tension from receiving foreign contributions," Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken informed the Lok Sabha before the Bill was passed. "Over 40,000 organisations were receiving foreign contribution in the country, and half of them do not file accounts and report the inflow of funds. We need a stricter law to regulate (foreign) money," he added.

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