25/04/2015 11:05 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

BJP: India Has A 'Liberal Regime' With Respect To Foreign Donations

AFP via Getty Images
Indian human rights activist Teesta Setalvad listens as residents of The Gulbarg Society describe events in Ahmedabad, 16 February 2008, atthe scene of one of the worst massacres in the 2002 post-Godhra riots where 70 people were killed by a mob. The Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace are spearheading an effort to raise funds to buy the buildings from their present owners and convert the buildings into a museum. At least 2,000 Muslims were hacked, beaten, shot or burnt to death in the riots, which erupted after 59 Hindu pilgrims died in a train fire first blamed on a Muslim mob, but which an inquiry later concluded was accidental. The state government has been accused of dragging its heels in prosecuting those accused in the riots. More than 4,250 cases were filed with state authorities but police dropped more than half, citing lack of evidence. AFP PHOTO/Sam PANTHAKY (Photo credit should read SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday justified the decision of the government to put private funding organisation Ford Foundation on its watch list, adding that compared to other countries, India is very a 'liberal regime' with respect to foreign donations.

"The Ford Foundation and a few other international donor organisations have been put on the prior permission list, which means that any donations flowing to the Indian NGOs have to be first assessed by the Government of India. This has been done because there has been a violation of the India law Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao told ANI.

"Throughout the world, foreign donations are being regulated. India has a very liberal regime. We are only enforcing the implementations of guidelines and the provisions of the FCRA," he added.

Elaborating on how Ford Foundation violated the FCRA, Narasimha Rao said that the organisation had made an 'illegal' donation of around Rs three crore.

"One company with which Teesta Setalvad was associated, Sabrang Communications and Publishing Limited, was given nearly USD 300,000, which comes to around Rs three crore, and this organisation does not have the permission to receive foreign grants, thus violating the existing provisions of the Act," he said.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Home Affairs placed Ford Foundation on its watch list on the basis of inputs received from security agencies.

According to reports, the ministry found the foundation to be in 'serious violation' of the FCRA and asked the Reserve Bank of India to instruct all banks of the same, in order to ensure that any funds from the organisation be brought to the ministry's notice.

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