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Greenpeace India: 'Government must communicate with us'

Friday, 20 June 2014 - 6:50am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Not among top 15 foreign donation recipient

Greenpeace India rubbished allegations leveled in the reports of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and said that the organisation is yet to receive any official communication from the government regarding the issue. The Union home ministry, however, said that a questionnaire, seeking details of the NGO's activities and financial statements, was sent to Greenpeace two months ago.

In its reports to the Prime Minister's Office and to the National Security Advisor, the IB said that Greenpeace India is a 'threat to India's economy'. It subsequently recommended cancellation of permission given to the NGO to collect funds abroad besides reassessment of its tax compliance in its second report.

Stating that Greenpeace India was being targeted under a 'malicious intent' the organisation's spokesperson, Bharti Sinha, said: "Government should communicate with us if they need some clarifications. We are forced to think that there is a malicious intent behind these reports. We have angered many people and corporates with our sustained campaigns."

Greenpeace has uploaded all the financial statements on its website upto December 2012, while the financial statement for 2013 will soon be available on the website. In 2013, said Sinha, the organisation collected Rs 20 crore from individuals in India and received Rs 13 crore from Greenpeace International. Besides, it got a small amount from trusts for particular projects, she said. Even if Greenpeace India is not allowed to receive funds under FCRA, Sinha stated that they generate enough money from contributors in India to sustain.

"We have nothing to hide and always want to set an example in transparency," she said. "We will not succumb to any pressure. We will abide by the law. Threats make no different to us," said Sinha.

She referred to two cases that Essar has filed against the NGO in Bombay High Court and a sessions court in Madhya Pradesh demanding gag and restraint orders against Greenpeace. The cases will next be heard on June 24 and 25 respectively. Greenpeace had launched a sustained campaign against Essar and Hindalco's Mahan coal mining project in Madhya Pradesh.

"We are forced to see a pattern in developments. In absence of any official communication, we don't see any other lobby but the vested interests who are trying to discredit the organisation towards the long term goal of removing obstacles for pushing fast clearances," added Sinha.

Sources in the Union home ministry said they had begun scrutiny of Greenpeace India some two months ago and sent a questionnaire seeking details of its activities and sources of funds. "We are awaiting their full response. Greenpeace has sent us some answers but not all the details. It may take some time to find and define their actual nature of work," sources said.

Greenpeace does not figure in the list of top 15 NGO recipients of foreign funds, according to the home ministry's reports.

The highest amount of foreign contribution received by associations was for Chennai-based World Vision of India (Rs 233.38 crore), Believers Church India (Rs. 190.05 crore) in Pathanamthitta, Kerala, and Rural Development Trust (Rs. 144.39 crore), Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh.

According to the 2011-12 annual report of the ministry's Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act division, which is also the latest available, of the total 43,527 associations registered under FCRA till March 2012, only 22,702 associations reported to have received an amount of Rs 11,546.29 crore from foreign contributors.

The US (Rs 3,838.23 crore), the UK (Rs 1,219.02 crore) and Germany (Rs 1,096.01 crore) are the leading donor countries.

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