Govt blocks flow of foreign funds to Greenpeace, other NGOs

The union government has imposed an across-the-board ban on foreign direct funding of NGOs after the Intelligence Bureau (IB) recommended cancellation of the permission for foreign funding of Greenpeace, which it said was a threat to national economic security.

GreenpeaceThe ministry of home affairs today directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to put on hold foreign funding to all NGOs. It also wanted NGOs to take prior permission of the RBI if they are to receive any funding from abroad.

In a fresh report, submitted to Prime Minister's Office and the National Security Adviser, IB recommended cancellation of permission given to Greenpeace for collecting funds from abroad besides reassessment of its tax compliance.

IB has warned that foreign donations to the Greenpeace be put on "prior category" list so that permission is taken before any money flows in for funding their activities.

Greenpeace termed the Intelligence Bureau's two reports against it as "malicious'' and added that it has been "specifically targeted" for opposing coal mining and nuclear power projects in India.

The leak of the IB reports is a "concerted effort by parties with vested interest to ensure elimination of any opposition....The strategy, it seems, is to discredit the organisation towards the long term goal of removing obstacles for pushing fast clearances. But discrediting Greenpeace will not save the world from climate change. Ours is probably the last generation that can make a difference to curb climate change," Samit Aich, executive director of Greenpeace India, said.

The IB report also lists 12 foreign nationals who have been associated with some NGOs in their campaign against coal mines, power projects and nuclear power plants.

The IB in an earlier report 'Impact of NGOs on Development' had expressed fear that opposition to several development projects in the country by a significant number of NGOs will have a negative impact on economic growth by 2 to 3 per cent.

The IB report claimed that beside Greenpeace, some other NGOs and their international donors are also planning to target many fresh economic development projects in India.

Greenpeace claimed the organisation has committed no irregularities even as anti-nuclear activist Udayakumar, who had contested as Aam Admi Party (AAP) candidate from Kanyakumari in the Lok Sabha polls, sent a legal notice to the union home ministry over IB report on foreign-funded NGOs

The AAP slammed the IB report and termed it as an attempt towards "criminanalisation of dissention".