Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

Govt questionnaire to Greenpeace on foreign funding

Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: June 12, 2014 8:59 pm | Updated: June 12, 2014 9:07 pm

Government has sent a questionnaire to Greenpeace asking it to give a detailed reply on its foreign funding and spending pattern in the wake of an Intelligence Bureau report accusing the NGO of opposing several development projects in India.

Official sources said here on Thursday that the questionnaire has been sent by the foreigners division of the Home Ministry under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.

Sources said the Home Ministry questions relate to the source of fund for the NGO, its beneficiaries, spending pattern and the purpose for which the fund has been spent.

When contacted, Greenpeace spokesperson Bharti Sinha said she was not aware of any such development. “We always abide by the law of the land and we will cooperate with the government if there is any such questionnaire”, she said.

The Intelligence Bureau in a report ‘Impact of NGOs on Development’ said opposition to several development projects in the country by a significant number of NGOs, including Greenpeace, will have a negative impact on economic growth by two to three per cent.

The IB report also claimed some NGOs and their international donors are also planning to target many fresh economic development projects including those in Gujarat.

The report, which has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Home Minister, the National Security Adviser, the Finance Minister and others, alleged the NGOs work for stalling development projects and back agitations against nuclear power plants, uranium mines, coal-fired power plants and hydel projects.

In a section related to protests against coal mines and coal-fired power projects, the report alleged Greenpeace expanded its activities to oppose coal-fired power plants and
coal mining and received Rs 45 crore from abroad in the last seven years.

“It is using foreign funds to create protest movements under ‘Coal Network’ umbrella at prominent coal block and coal-fired power plant locations in India,” the report said.

Reacting to the charge that Greenpeace has mounted “massive efforts to take down India’s coal-fired power plants and coal mining activity”, the NGO said in a statement that instead of destroying India’s forests to access coal underneath, it believes India should embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet rapidly-increasing energy needs.

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