Gurdwara is now eligible to receive foreign donations
The Union Home Ministry has granted Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration to the famous Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, or the Golden Temple, in Amritsar, enabling it to receive foreign donations.
The gurdwara is currently administered by the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), controlled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one of the oldest allies of the BJP.
Any association, non-government organisation (NGO) or registered society requires FCRA registration to receive foreign donations for specified purposes. In the present case, the foreign contribution can be used by the Sikh shrine for activities such as providing financial assistance to the poor, medical assistance to the needy and organise langars (free community kitchens).
A senior Ministry official said that the gurdwara had applied for the registration in May and till now they were only eligible to receive domestic donations.
The registration will be initially valid for five years, after which it can be renewed.
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, “Sri Darbar Sahib’s divinity gives strength to us. For decades, the Sangat worldwide was unable to serve there. Modi Government’s decision to allow FCRA to the Sri Harmandir Sahib deepens the connect of Seva between the Sangat globally and the Sri Darbar Sahib. A blessed moment!”
He added, “PM @narendramodi ji is blessed that Wahe Guru ji has taken Seva from him. The decision on FCRA at the Sri Harmandir Sahib is a pathbreaking one which will once again showcase the outstanding spirit of service of our Sikh sisters and brothers.”
The FCRA, 2010 is a national security legislation enacted to ensure the internal security of the country is not adversely affected by unregulated foreign donations.
Naresh Gujral of SAD said, “We welcome the decision to allow FCRA for Harmandir Sahib. It will help in maintaining the shrine as well as all the other social and educational activities undertaken by the shrine administration.”
Source: The Hindu