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What is the news?
Recently the government curbed the funding for a group of ten American, Australian and European NGOs dealing with environmental, climate change and child labour issues.
A similar incident also happened in the past when the government restricted Greenpeace (The International NGO) from receiving foreign funds.
What were the instructions given by the Government?
The government specified the number of foreign entities to be placed on the “Prior Reference Category” (PRC list) using the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010. These norms were tightened in September 2020. These norms made both banks and chartered accountants accountable for any unauthorized funds that are channelled to NGOs.
The RBI has instructed that any fund flow from the (specified) donor agencies to any NGO/Voluntary organisation/ persons in India should be brought through the Ministry of Home Affairs. This would ensure that the funds are credited to the recipients only after clearance/ prior permission from the MHA’s Foreigners Division of the FCRA wing,”
How have the parties responded to these Restrictions?
Government: According to the MHA’s responses in Parliament, between 2016-2020, the government cancelled the FCRA licences of more than 6,600 NGOs and suspended those of about 264.
NGO: A UK-based NGO, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has taken the government to court for suspending its FCRA licence. It won temporary relief in the Delhi High Court, allowing it to access 25% of its funds.
Source: This post is based on the article “Govt. curbs funding for 10 climate change, child labour NGOs“ published in The Hindu on 14th September 2021.
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