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Jaishankar seeks details of action against 3 U.S. donors

Days after the Home Ministry put three influential American donors under the “prior permission category” for allegedly funding NGOs in India not registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar shot off a letter to the Ministry asking for the “circumstances” leading to the decision, a top government official told The Hindu.

This is the second time in the past two months that the Foreign Secretary has written to the Ministry on being left out of the loop on key decisions.

After the electronic tourist visa of Chinese dissident Dolkun Isa was cancelled in April, the Foreign Secretary had sent a letter to Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on May 9 asking that “any revocation [of visa] in the future be done in consultation with this Ministry.”

The fresh letter, sent before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S. on June 7-8, stemmed from the action taken by the Home Ministry against Open Society Foundations (OSF), World Movement for Democracy (WMD) and National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Home Ministry officials said the donors were put on the “watch list” due to adverse intelligence inputs. The move means that the donors will not be able to directly send money to NGOs in India and will require a clearance from the Home Ministry to do so.

“The Foreign Ministry only wants to know the circumstances and the reasons for putting these three American donors on the watch list. There is no concern as such against the order but they only want to know the facts. A letter has been received from the Foreign Secretary in this regard,” the official told The Hindu.

MEA in a tight spot

The decision put the Foreign Ministry in a tight spot as the orders were issued a fortnight before Mr. Modi visited the U.S.

On March 28, U.S.-based Compassion International and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, South Korea were put on the watch list.

Three U.S. Congressmen and the Senator from Colorado, where Compassion International is headquartered had in a letter addressed to the Indian embassy in Washington and copied to the Prime Minister said the action, putting funding for the Christian advocacy group on a “prior referral” basis, was crippling the NGO’s working.

In all, there are 21 foreign donors under the government’s scanner right now. Of these, eight were put under the prior permission category during the UPA government and the remaining 13 after the NDA government came to power.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 2:30:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Jaishankar-seeks-details-of-action-against-3-U.S.-donors/article14432320.ece

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