MHA exempts TTD from disclosing foreign donors' details

TIRUPATI: Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has exempted Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) from furnishing details of people living in foreign countries who extend donations to the temple trust.

Earlier, MHA had suspended TTD's FCRA {Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act} registration for non-compliance with certain rules. The ministry also fined the Devasthanam ₹14 crore.

However, following negotiations between the temple administration led by executive officer A.V. Dharma Reddy and MHA over past three months, the penalty had been reduced to ₹3 crore.

TTD paid ₹3 crore and got its FCRA registration renewed in March. At the time, the home ministry specifically asked the devasthanam to provide information about donors from overseas who contribute to the TTD.

On this, officials of the temple body met MHA again, pointing out practical issues in checking credentials of contributors, who extend funds to the temple.

Following this, the home ministry treated TTD's request as an exceptional case and granted the temple trust exemption from providing information about donors under Section 50 (c) of the FCRA Act.

MHA secretary S. Muthu Kumar formally conveyed the exemption given to TTD, which has become the first temple trust in the country to be granted this kind of facility.

It is learnt that TTD has also sent an official request for refund of ₹3 crore it has paid as penalty for getting its FCRA registration renewed.y

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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