Analysing the various aspects of the FCRA Act, its procedures, enforcement mechanisms and challenges faced by the enforcement agencies, the article underlines the need for effective enforcement of the Act in letter and spirit so that foreign contributions are not used for activities prejudicial to national interests.

As poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere, the international community, especially the affluent nations, fully aware of the implications of poverty and interrelated socioeconomic issues in many parts of the world, have incorporated the theme of global fight against poverty and underdevelopment in their domestic and foreign policy formulations. Donations and charities—both by the governments and philanthropic organisations—for the poor and underprivileged sections of developing countries have become an agenda of many governments.

Over the years, humanitarian assistance has developed into a major factor of international relations. But the ‘Cold-War era’ had witnessed a sea-change in the concept and practice of humanitarian assistance when the US sponsored-Western bloc and the Soviet Union-led Warsaw Pact countries  tried to use such assistance or aid for lobbying or influence building in many developing ‘third-world’ countries particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. That is why John D Montgomery had rightly commented; “both foreign contributions and foreign aid can have different effects in diplomacy. It has the potential of procuring international favour and even influence or improve political ideology.”

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Views expressed by the author are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of Centre for Public Policy Research

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K V Thomas
K V Thomas
K V Thomas is Senior Fellow at CPPR. He has over 36 years of distinguished service in the Intelligence Bureau (Ministry of Home Affairs) of India where he rose to become the Associate Director. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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