UK drilling down on charity licences in India, House of Lords told

7 months ago 71

The foundation founded by Mother Teresa successful Kolkata was precocious denied an FCRA renewal on with different NGOs

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UK | NGOs

The UK government has asked for circumstantial numbers implicit a play to drill-down connected the usage of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by the Indian authorities astir backing licences of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the House of Lords was informed during a debate.

Peers successful the Upper House of the UK Parliament debated the contented connected Thursday pursuing a question raised by crossbench adjacent Lord Harries of Pentregarth, asking what representations the British authorities had made to its Indian counterparts astir the blocking of overseas funds for the Missionaries of Charity and different non-governmental organisations.

The foundation founded by Mother Teresa successful Kolkata was precocious denied an FCRA renewal on with different NGOs, a determination the Indian authorities has said is simply a substance of regular processing by the Ministry of Home Affairs nether well-established process and long-standing administrative practice.

We are alert of immoderate non-governmental organisations that look difficulties successful India owed to the usage of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act by the Indian government, and that immoderate person precocious had applications to renew their overseas backing licences rejected, said Lord Tariq Ahmad, responding to questions connected behalf of the UK government arsenic Minister of State successful the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

On the contented of the licence successful India, I person looked into this specifically, and we bash not cognize wherefore its applications were rejected. I person asked and pressed to spot the kinds of numbers that presently exist, helium said, successful notation to the Missionaries of Charity.

Lord Harries pressed the curate connected the substance and questioned whether the enactment against the foundation was to forestall radical coming into interaction with Christianity and yet person to it.

Among the 12,580 organisations whose licences person ceased to exist, immoderate ceased to beryllium due to the fact that they did not taxable their applications successful time, and others were rejected for different reasons. There are Christian NGOs, but determination are besides 250 Hindu NGOs and much than 250 Muslim NGOs, truthful whether this is specifically against Christian organisations is not shown by the data, but I americium requesting further accusation successful this respect, Ahmad said successful response.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked if the authorities had studied the database of organisations which person mislaid their licences, which fig arsenic precocious arsenic 3,000.

Ahmad, who holds the little of Minister for South Asia, replied: Because of the constructive quality of our engagement, we are capable to rise this not conscionable with the Indian High Commission present successful London but successful a constructive mode with the Indian authorities directly.

The noble Lord points to circumstantial numbers. As I alluded to earlier, I person asked specifically for a drill-down connected the numbers implicit a period, truthful that I tin analyse straight which organisations are impacted and the reasons wherefore these licences person been revoked, to let america to marque overmuch much qualified representation, Ahmad said.

The debate, which progressive a conception of cross-party peers, covered concerns astir international civil nine organisations being hampered successful their enactment to combat poorness successful India and besides raised the contented of organisations specified arsenic Amnesty International and Oxfam being starved of funds successful India. Ahmad said the UK authorities had taken up the contented of Amnesty International directly but that it continues to supply challenge.

However, due to the fact that of our lobbying and representations, we welcomed the caller High Court determination successful Karnataka which allowed Amnesty to entree immoderate of its funds, the curate said.

The Indian High Commission successful London said it would not similar to remark connected a treatment betwixt members of Parliament of the UK.

However, connected the subject: it appears to request reiteration that this is simply a substance of regular processing by India's Ministry of Home Affairs of renewal applications for FCRA support submitted by thousands of India-based entities including the Missionaries of Charity, a High Commission connection said.

An introspection of facts would marque it wide that nary azygous community, religion oregon root of backing has been peculiarly targeted' oregon immoderate accounts frozen by the authorities of India. It would beryllium seen that each these applications for renewal of FCRA licences person been processed arsenic per well-established process and long-standing administrative signifier which, successful astir countries, are recognised arsenic a portion of bully governance, the connection said.

(Only the header and representation of this study whitethorn person been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the remainder of the contented is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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