The Ministry of Home Affairs has denied as many as 25 non-government organisations or NGOs licenses to get foreign donations for allegedly being involved in ‘activities not conducive to national interest’, reports NDTV. Most of the NGOs earlier had a license under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act or FCRA which is issued by the Home Ministry.
This action comes after the cancellation of the FCRA licences of 11,319 NGOs for failing to apply for renewal within the deadline. The FCRA licence renewal of another 1,736 NGOs was withheld ‘for non-submission of documents or deficient documents or other statutory shortcoming within the stipulated time’.
A final call on approving the renewal of the FCRA registration of the 1,736 NGOs will be taken after they explain deficiencies in their applications by November 8.
Environmental non-profit Greenpeace and Gujarat activist Teesta Setalvad’s Sabrang Trust, both of whose licenses had been cancelled earlier, have been granted renewal.
Wilfred D’Costa from Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), an NGO which works on issues of displacement due to industrialization, said they went to court even before the mail informing them of the refusal. “We got the email saying license refused, no reasons were given,” he said.
Tamil Nadu-based NGO Peoples’ Watch which had been at the forefront of protests against the nuclear plant at Kudankulam has also put in a petition against the central government order in the Delhi High Court.
“Close to 12,000 NGOs did not even apply for license renewal this time. Yes some of them were defunct, but a lot of them see the current scrutiny process under FCRA not as scrutiny but as harassment,” said Amitabh Behar of National Foundation of India.