US welcomes lifting of restrictions on NGOs by India

Mark Toner said the US supports the very good work of many of these NGOs that they play in strengthening civil society.

By: PTI | Washington | Updated: October 19, 2016 9:11 am
NGO, NGO restrictions, NGO ban lifted, NGO restriction lifted, NGO corruption, BJP against NGO, Mark Toner Deputy Spokesperson of US State Department, Mark C Toner . (File)

The United States has welcomed the Indian government’s recent decision to lift the restrictions from some NGOs, saying the move will strengthen civil society in the country. “We certainly would welcome and do welcome any actions by government that support and strengthen civil society. I’d refer you to the Government of India with respect to any specific actions that have been taken regarding the NGOs in India,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday.

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“But we want to see a strong, healthy civil society throughout the world. And that certainly extends to India, which is a strong democracy,” he said.

“We believe that a strong and vibrant civil society only strengthens that democracy,” he added.

Toner said the US supports the very good work of many of these NGOs that they play in strengthening civil society. But it is a for the Government of India to work with them with regard to taxes and other regulations that the NGOs need to comply with on ground.

“We are very clear not just with respect to India, but with many countries around the world, about our support for NGOs and the important role that they play in any democratic society.”

“And in so far as we push for a more welcoming environment for these NGOs to work in, that’s just the way we work,” the deputy spokesman said.