Bhartiya Kisan Union’s foreign funds through the lens of the FCRA
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan), the largest independent organization behind the ongoing protests against the new farm legislation, said it had been asked by a central agency to submit details of its registration that allow it to receive foreign funds.
“BKU is under attack by the central authorities for provoking a massive response from the Indians and NRI. What’s wrong if our supporters who work as truck drivers or perform other job duties send donations from abroad? “Said union president Joginder Singh Ugrahan.
The BKU leadership said it has received an estimated Rs 8 lakh over the past two months, but donations from Indians and the diaspora have not been calculated separately.
On December 6, BKU had issued a public appeal demanding financial resources “to pursue the unrest”. The union wants the donations to be transferred to the personal bank account of its general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan. He confirmed that his bank account is not registered according to the FCRA, and the foreign exchange department of Punjab and Sindh Bank has raised the objection about the foreign exchange increase. The last date to register the bank account expired on Saturday.
Experts say that as the Ugrahan faction of BKU, prima facie, does not follow the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, the funds it receives from outside India are likely to be returned to the respective account holders. Banking sector officials said that according to the rules, an individual or organization cannot accept foreign currency without prior registration with the Interior Ministry.