Debate On NGO Funding: Amnesty Shuts Down India Offices
The issue of misuse of foreign funding by NGOs is a tough and complicated battle and it is necessary for governments to regulate funds.
Following a move by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to freeze its bank accounts over alleged charges of money laundering, global NGO Amnesty International (AI) India has decided to shut its operations in the country. The organisation has called the move a “witch-hunt of human-right activists by the government, and a crackdown on dissent.” According to officials, Amnesty India was granted prior permission for receiving foreign donations under FCRA on December 19, 2000. “Since then, it had applied for prior permission several times but was refused by the ministry.
“To circumvent the FCRA regulations, Amnesty UK remitted large amounts of money to four entities registered in India, by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). A significant amount of foreign money was also remitted to Amnesty (India) without MHA’s approval under FCRA. This mala fide rerouting of money was in contravention of extant legal provisions. The previous government had also rejected the repeated applications of Amnesty to receive funds from overseas,” an official said.
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