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CBI registers case against Oxfam India for "violating provisions of foreign funding rules"

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday registered a case against Oxfam India and its office-bearers for allegedly violating the provisions of India's foreign funding rules, following a reference from the Ministry of home affairs.

CBI's FIR into the matter mentioned that "Though Oxfam India's FCRA registration is ceased, it planned to circumvent FCRA by routing funds through other routes. From the email found during the IT survey by the CBDT, it appears that Oxfam India is providing funds to the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) through its associates/employees in the form of a commission. The same is also reflected in the TDS data of Oxfam India which shows a payment of Rs 12.71 lakh to the CPR in the financial year 2019-20 under section 194J." "Oxfam India got FCRA registration to carry out Social activities. However, payment made to the (CPR) through its associates/ employees in the form of commission (professional or technical services) is not in line with its stated objectives. This violates sections 8 & 12(4) of the FCRA 2010," the FIR stated.
CBI in its FIR also stated that Oxfam India was routing funds to its foreign affiliates in Australia and Great Britain and further trying to circumvent the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

"It appears that Oxfam India used to route funds of its foreign affiliates such as Oxfam Australia, Oxfam Great Britain etc in India to selected NGOs while simultaneously exercising control over funds and projects. From emails, found during the 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 the FCRA, 2010. This is a potential violation of section 8 and section 12(4) of the FCRA, 2010," it said.

CBI further alleged that Oxfam India was also planning to pressurize the Government of India for FCRA approval through foreign governments, and foreign institutions like the World Bank, IMF etc.

"Pressurizing Indian Government for FCRA approval from international agencies and domestic entities. Email communication in impounded material shows that Oxfam India has been planning to pressure the Indian government to renew of FCRA through foreign governments, and foreign institutions like the World Bank, IMF etc," FIR mentioned.

"Email dated 28 January 2022 reveals that they have been planning to use European Union, US State Department, World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank and various European governments for the same," it added.
The development came after the Union Home Ministry had recommended a CBI probe into the affairs of the Indian arm of the global NGO Oxfam for alleged violation of the FCRA. (ANI)

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