Of the 22 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donor agencies named in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) report submitted to the government earlier this month, only 11 are registered with the Home Ministry under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), and have been submitting reports of foreign contributions received by them over the years.
However, none of these 11 bodies have so far filed their foreign contributions statements for 2013-14 to the Ministry.
The IB report, submitted to the PMO and National Security Adviser, alleged that several foreign-funded NGOs were stalling India’s economic growth by their obstructionist activism.
The report was based only on declarations made by the NGOs to the government, and did not include any fresh findings by the IB. The IB has not bothered to gather details of funding of NGOs which have not filed declarations to the MHA.
Following the IB report, the Home Ministry ordered that funds received by the India chapter of the international advocacy group Greenpeace from two of its chief overseas contributors must be first cleared by the ministry.
The IB report had accused Greenpeace of attempting to destabilise India’s energy mix in collusion with a US-based anti-coal lobbying group, and threatening India’s “national economic security”. The IB had subsequently advised the government to cancel Greenpeace’s FCRA registration.
An analysis of publicly available data shows that Tamil Nadu and (undivided) Andhra Pradesh are major hubs of FCRA-registered NGOs in India. A preliminary look at these NGOs and their activities suggests a majority of them are involved in Christian religious activities.
Of the 41,759 FCRA-registered NGOs, 5,353 are from Tamil Nadu; 5,210 from Andhra Pradesh. In Maharashtra, 4,142 NGOs are registered under FCRA; in West Bengal 3,441 are registered. Other states with a large number of FCRA-registered NGOs are Uttar Pradesh (3,193), Karnataka (2,976), Kerala (2,463), Orissa (2,434), Delhi (2,218), Bihar (1,999), Gujarat (1,860), Madhya Pradesh (886) and Rajasthan (786).
Until this week, only 1,205 NGOs (less than 3 per cent of the total) had submitted their statements of foreign contributions received during 2013-14. According to these statements, these 1,205 NGOs received Rs 326.84 crore in foreign donations during the year. None of these 1,205 NGOs is among the 22 mentioned in the IB report.
A total 17,362 NGOs submitted their foreign contribution declarations for 2012-13 to the MHA. The cumulative funding received by them, as per the declarations, was Rs 10,906.39 crore. 5,795 NGOs — a third of the total of those who filed declarations — showed zero receipts from foreign sources.
Funding details of the 11 FCRA-registered NGOs mentioned in the IB’s list of 22:
Tuticorin Multipurpose Social Service Society: Was behind the agitation against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. Received foreign donations of Rs 10.97 crore between 2008-09 and 2012-13, Rs 5.26 crore of which came from Italy, including Rs 1.62 crore from the Terni-based Associazione per un sorriso Monica De Carlo, which made a total 36 donations during this period. Rs 4.79 crore were given by Swiss donors, and Rs 44.26 lakh by donors based in the US.
Tuticorin Diocesan Association: Also involved in the anti-Kudankulam agitation. Got Rs 19.18 crore in foreign contributions in the five years from 2008-09 to 2012-13, of which Rs 3.17 crore came from Germany, Rs 3.74 crore from Italy, and Rs 4.10 crore from France. Other donors were based in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, the US and Canada.
Among the big donors were: Secure Catholique (France), Abbaye Saint Joseph De Clairvel (France), Arch Diocese of Cologne (Germany), Archdiocese of Chieti Vasto (Italy), Erbzischofliches Ordinariat (Germany), Manos Unidas (Spain), and Propogation of Faith (Italy). Secure Catholique’s 22 donations added up to Rs 3.92 crore.
Gene Campaign: The IB report says Gene Campaign, led by Suman Sahai, was behind the activism against GM crops in India. It received Rs 5.45 crore foreign funds in the five years, the bulk of which came from Italy, Germany, the UK, Netherlands and Canada. Major contributors were International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Italy), HIVOS (Hague), Nikolaus J Von Websky (Germany), International Development Research Center (Canada), Bangor University (UK), and NGOs Action Aid and OXFAM. Donors also include Centre For Policy Research and M S Swaminathan Research Foundation.
Navdanya Trust: Led by Vandana Shiva; according to the IB, it is at the forefront of the anti-GM foods activism. In the four years from 2008-09 to 2011-12 Navdanya got Rs 12.78 crore from foreign sources, mainly Canada, Italy, Germany, the US, the UK, Switzerland and Sweden. Some donations came from Brazil, Pakistan and Bhutan as well. Among the major contributors to the Navdanya Trust were BFW (Germany), EED (Germany), Center for Food Safety (USA), Tedworth Charitable Trust (UK), Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe Social Service Agency of the Protestant Church (Germany), HIVOS (Hague), Friends of Navdanya (New York), and The Body Shop Foundation (UK).
Indian Social Action Forum: One of four NGOs registered at the same address in Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi. It got foreign contributions adding up to Rs 6.87 crore between 2008-09 and 2012-13, Rs 5.06 crore of which came from Bread for the World (Germany), in 10 donations. Other donors include Swiss Aid (Switzerland), Global Greengrants Fund (USA), HIVOS (Hague), and International Development Studies (UK).
ActionAid: According to the IB report, ActionAid is active among the ethnic Dongria Kondhs of the Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa’s Raygada and Kalahandi districts. The NGO received Rs 364.47 crore between 2008-09 and 2012-13, Rs 331.91 crore of which came from the UK-based ActionAid International and its country offices. Other prominent donors included the British High Commission, Goldman Sachs, Siemens, the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), and CORDAID and Oak Foundation (Switzerland).
East Coast Research and Development Trust: Involved in the anti-Kudankulam protests; received Rs 18.35 lakh in foreign donations between 2008-09 and 2011-12, as per its declarations filed to the MHA. All of it came from DKA and MIVA of Austria, Global Green Foundation (USA) and Siemenpuu Foundation (Finland).
Gandhian Unit for Integrated Development Education: Also against Kudankulam; received Rs 1.63 crore from 2008-09 to 2012-13. Major contributors were ActionAid, MRP Dongst Imoreu Seongyohoe (South Korea), Tides Foundation (USA).
Maldhari Rural Action Group (MARAG): Opposed to the Gujarat model of development, according to the IB. Got Rs 4.05 crore in foreign contributions between 2009-10 and 2011-12, from agencies based in Tibet, Canada, USA, Norway and Italy.
OXFAM: While donating to some of the NGOs mentioned in the IB report, it got Rs 188.82 crore itself between 2008-09 and 2012-13, mostly from its chapters in the UK, Australia, Netherlands, Japan, Spain and Hong Kong. Its list of donors also includes the Thompson Reuters Foundation and some Delhi- and Mumbai-based NGOs.
Greenpeace International: Has got FCRA registration on a Chennai address; received foreign contributions of Rs 32.93 crore between 2008-09 and 2012-13. Rs 30.20 crore came from Greenpeace’s Netherlands, Germany and Belgium chapters; over Rs 29 crore came from the Netherlands alone. Other donors include Global Campaign for Climate Action (Canada), DKA (Austria) and Climate Works Foundation (USA).