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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightNGOs receive foreign...

NGOs receive foreign funds to thwart India’s economic growth: IT in SC

NGOs receive foreign funds to thwart India’s economic growth: IT in SC

The Income Tax department, under the Narendra Modi-led Union government, has raised serious concerns about the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India, alleging that some are actively hindering public projects and impeding economic progress through foreign funding.

This revelation comes amidst a backdrop of intensified scrutiny and action against NGOs suspected of misusing foreign contributions.

According to The Indian Express report, the Income Tax department made a submission to the Supreme Court, the Central government asserted that certain NGOs have been utilizing foreign funding to fuel protests and agitations against various development projects across the country.

The Modi government also claimed that by cancelling thousands of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act registrations, it has effectively severed a critical financial lifeline for these organizations.

One such NGO, Environics Trust, found itself under scrutiny as it challenged a notice issued under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, by the Delhi High Court. The department revealed that a substantial portion of the Trust's funds, amounting to Rs 13.66 crore out of Rs 14.27 crore received between 2016 and 2021, originated from foreign sources.

Allegations were made that the Trust, focused on environmental concerns, had been actively involved in financing protests against developmental projects, particularly in Odisha.

The cancellation has severed a vital funding stream for these NGOs, many of which are dedicated to research and service that played a crucial role in easing suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Income Tax department cited evidence of collaborations between Environics Trust and foreign entities, such as 'Both ENDS' and the 'Fair Green and Global Alliance,' indicating their involvement in orchestrating protests in Odisha villages.

Furthermore, agreements with prominent international organizations like Oxfam India raised eyebrows, with accusations of mobilizing communities against coal industries, straying from the Trust's stated objectives.

This revelation comes amidst a broader crackdown on NGOs suspected of violating regulations governing foreign funding. In 2023, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) initiated legal action against Environics Trust, citing violations of its foreign funding license and attempts to exert pressure on the government through foreign governments and institutions.

The Modi government's approach to NGOs has been characterized by increased scrutiny and stringent enforcement measures.

Notably, the Income Tax department has conducted raids on several news organizations, including Newsclick and BBC, raising concerns about press freedom. Additionally, opposition parties have faced obstacles ahead of elections, indicating a broader trend of governmental control and oversight.

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TAGS:NGOIncome Tax departmentForeign Contribution (Regulation) Act
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