Leaked report on India's NGOs: All conjecture, no teeth?

By Alys Francis 10 November 2014
Members of Greenpeace interact with locals in India. Greenpeace India experienced a cut in its funding as a result of a leaked report claiming that foreign-funded NGOs are hampering the country’s economic development. Photo by: Salvatore Barbera / CC BY-SA

In late October, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs issued notices to more than 500 nongovernmental organizations in the country, asking them to justify keeping their licenses despite not filing annual returns of their foreign receipts.

Properly filing receipts is one of the requirements of India’s Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act of 2010, and the ministry has been strictly monitoring compliance over the past few years. NGOs that fail to meet this requirement often lose their license to operate.

While not a new development, this latest announcement has only added to the uncertainty over the future of India’s NGOs.

In June, India’s community of nongovernmental organizations was rattled by a leaked report from the Indian Intelligence Bureau that claimed foreign-funded NGOs were “negatively impacting economic development” by 2 to 3 percent per year.