The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has limited the funding of ten non-governmental organizations (NGOs) related to climate and child labor after suspending the FCRA approval of other foreign funded NGOs including the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI).
According to a report by The Hindu, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sent an internal note to all the banks directing them to put a specific number of foreign organizations in the PRC list (Prior Reference Category) under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010.
There are more than 80 such foreign organizations under the radar of the government’s PRC list. The new ones added include three NGOs from the USA named the Omidyar Network International, Humanity United and Stardust foundation. Two NGOs from Australia named Walk Free Foundation and Minderoo Foundation are also included in the list along with Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Freedom fund and Laudes foundation from the UK.
According to a copy of the notice obtained by The Hindu which was sent by a private bank to different branches, it was said, “The RBI has instructed that any fund flow from the (specified) donor agencies to any NGO/Voluntary organization/ persons in India should be brought to the Ministry of Home Affairs so that the funds are allowed to be credited to the recipients only after clearance/ prior permission from the MHA’s Foreigners Division of the FCRA wing.”
When asked about the reason behind the inclusion of several environmental NGOs in the PRC list, an official was quoted saying that “global pressures are intensifying on India to raise the Nationally Determined Contributions”. The official further added, “In order to create noise in the media, several pro-climate NGOs are focusing on advocacy against coal, which is considered a violation of FCRA provisions.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) mentioned in Parliament that more than 6600 NGOs’ FCRA licenses were cancelled with around 260 of them suspended by the government during the period 2016-2020.
On Monday, it was reported that the MHA had cancelled the FCRA approval of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in June this year, along with other NGOs.