After the Enforcement Directorate froze its main bank account on the 5th of October, Greenpeace says it may halve its staff in India to 30 soon. The NGO has said that it only has funds to pay employees for about 2 months.
Greenpeace spokesperson Nandikesh Sivalingam said, “There are multi-pronged attacks on us.” Blaming the “coal lobby”, he asserted, “The coal industry is strong and powerful even if governments do want to move away from coal, including for climate change reasons.”
Asok Dasgupta, president of lobby group Independent Power Producers Association of India, stated that it was unfair to blame the coal lobby for the action against Greenpeace. “I don’t understand this opposition to coal,” he told Reuters. “Renewable power can’t take over coal for many, many years. Fortunately, we have got good coal reserves and we should use them.”
The NDA government has been stern in dealing with NGOs. Recently, it had barred 156 NGOs from receiving foreign donations for six months for failing to comply with FCRA norms. It had also sent a show cause notice to over 1700 NGOs in November for failing to file their annual returns.
Recently, the Amnesty International was also raided by the Enforcement Directorate for violation of norms. Since 2014, nearly 15,000 NGOs have lost their FCRA licenses.