West Bengal: CM Mamata Banerjee alleges freezing of Missionaries of Charity bank account by Center

News Desk: After West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee alleged on Monday afternoon that all the bank accounts of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity have been frozen by the Centre, the group’s spokesperson said she is unaware of the same and “everything is fine”.

“We have not been told anything regarding this. I am not aware of this at all. The Government of India has not told us anything. Bank transactions are working fine. Everything is fine” said Missionaries of Charity spokesperson Sunita Kumar.

The Centre has frozen all bank accounts of Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa, Mamata Banerjee claimed on Monday.

She said that the move had left Missionaries of Charity’s 22,000 patients and employees without food and medicines.

“Shocked to hear that on Christmas, Union Ministry FROZE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in India! Their 22,000 patients & employees have been left without food & medicines” she tweeted.

“While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised” Banerjee added.

Responding to the allegations made by Mamata Banerjee and others, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued a statement saying it had not frozen the bank accounts of Missionaries of Charity but refused the renewal of the group’s FCRA registration.

The ministry said, “The application under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act [FCRA] for the renewal of FCRA registration of Missionaries of Charity (MoC) was refused on December 25, 2021, for not meeting the eligibility conditions under FCRA 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules (FCRR) 2011. No request/revision application has been received from Missionaries of Charity for review of this refusal of renewal”.

“MoC’s registration was valid up to October 31, 2021. The validity was subsequently extended to December 31, 2021 along with other FCRA associations whose renewal applications were pending. MHA didn’t freeze any accounts of MoC” the ministry added.

In 2020, the Foreign Contribution Regulation (Amendment) Act (FCRA), 2020 was passed by Parliament, making the act’s provisions stricter. The FCRA is an act that regulates foreign donations and ensures such contributions do not adversely affect the internal security of India. Without an FCRA registration, an organisation cannot receive foreign donations.