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Another foreign donor on Home Ministry watch list

The Bertha Foundation of the Netherlands is the latest advocacy group to be included on the list of foreign donors that require clearance from the Union Home Ministry for funding non-governmental organisations.

The Centre initiates action against those groups that have been consistently backing “anti-development” campaigns in the country, Home Ministry sources say.

“A distinction has to be drawn between service-delivery NGOs, which are working on the ground for the betterment of society, and advocacy groups that have been funding campaigns aimed at stalling the country’s economic growth,” an official said.

“Bertha Foundation had provided financial assistance to Greenpeace India Society, which has been accused of obstructing development works, particularly coal-fired power projects and mining.”

Donations from Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation require clearance for each transaction.

The Centre has blacklisted 69 NGOs for unauthorised receipt of funds.

NGOs get Rs. 11,000 crore in foreign funds a year

Non-governmental organisations in India receive Rs. 11,000 crore in foreign donations a year from over 150 countries. Of the 69 blacklisted from receiving foreign funds, 14 are from Andhra Pradesh, 12 from Tamil Nadu and five each from Odisha and Gujarat. The others are based in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir.

The Bertha Foundation, latest to be included on the prior-approval list for giving donations, is yet to give its reaction to the Union government’s move. Greenpeace India, which receives funds from the Netherlands-based advocacy group, has not reverted to questions.

“Although a hue and cry is being raised to project that the government is cracking down on the entire NGO sector, there is no truth in such assertions. While thousands of service-delivery NGOs have been operating without interference, action is being taken only against a minuscule number of advocacy groups as per law,” an Home Ministry officials says.

The others in the prior-approval list are the U.S.-based 350.Org, Mercy Corps (which operated in Kashmir), Bank Information Centre, Sierra Club Foundation and Avaaz.org; the Netherlands-based ICCO Stretegische Samenwerking, HIVOS, Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid and Inter-Church Peace Council; and the Denmark-based Danish Institute of Human Rights and Danish International Development Agency.

While 350.Org, Climate Works Foundation, Greenpeace International, Bank Information Centre, Sierra Club Foundation and Avaaz.org take up environment issues, some of the Netherlands-based advocacy groups purportedly operate in the Northeast States.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 2:45:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/another-foreign-donor-on-home-ministry-watch-list/article7078578.ece

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