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Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2020 passes in Rajya Sabha.

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The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday through a voice vote passed the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020. The bill amends the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010, which regulates the use and acceptance of foreign contribution by individuals and organizations. The Act prohibits foreign contribution for any activities that pose a danger to national interest.

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday and will now be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent.

Minister of state (MoS), home affairs, Nityanand Rai moved the bill for passage in the Upper House.

During the discussion on the bill, Rai said that the FCRA is a law for national and internal security, aimed to ensure that foreign funds do not dominate the political and social discourse in India.

The minister also said that it has been proposed to make Aadhaar for Indian citizens and passports or OCI for foreigners mandatory to verify identity. The home ministry consulted UIDAI and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) before proposing the move, he added.

“Experience says that many organisations attempted to hide their identity and were successful in doing that. The reason behind this is that they had no fear because their identity was not established completely. So Aadhaar card has been brought in to establish their identity,” Rai said.

The minister pointed out that the bill provides for reduction in administrative expenses of any NGO receiving foreign funding, from 50 per cent to 20 per cent of annual funds.

The bill also proposes to enable the Center to allow an NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate.

 

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RBI issues guidelines for SRO’s for payment system operators.

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The Reserve Bank on Thursday issued final guidelines, including the framework, to set up a self-regulatory organisation for payment system operators as part of its payment and settlement systems vision.

The Reserve Bank on Thursday issued final guidelines, including the framework, to set up a self-regulatory organisation for payment system operators as part of its payment and settlement systems vision. The framework will enable the central bank to recognize a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) for payment system operators (PSOs). The plan was announced in February 2020 monetary policy. “Interested groups/association of PSOs (banks as well as non-banks) seeking recognition to be an SRO may apply to the chief general manager, department of payment and settlement systems at the RBI,” the regulatory circular said.

An SRO is a non-governmental organisation that sets and enforces rules and standards relating to the conduct of its members to help protect customers and promote ethical and professional standards.

An SRO can help frame rules for system security, pricing practices, customer protection measures, grievance redressal mechanisms, among others, and is expected to resolve the disputes among the members internally through mutually accepted processes to ensure that members operate in a disciplined environment and even accept its penal actions.

The central bank said the SRO shall be set up as a not-for-profit company under the Companies Act of 2013 and only regulated payment system entities such as banks and non-bank PSOs can be members of the SRO.

At least one-third of the members on the board of directors of the SRO shall be independent and not associated with member institutions.

The board shall frame a code of conduct for the members.

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