After US, Germany comes out in support of NGOs

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German-Ambassador-Michael-Steiner
German-Ambassador-Michael-Steiner

Asking India to support NGOs, Germany on Thursday said there should be transparency on the part of authorities and civil society groups. Several NGOs are facing punitive action by the ruling government.

German Ambassador Michael Steiner spoke a day after US ambassador Richard Verma lashed out at the government for its action against the non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“The NGOs are doing an impressive work. The country should be proud of having these NGOs. I share the view of those Indian friends and those in the government who say that we should support the NGOs,” Steiner said.

To buttress his point, the Ambassador gave an example of the work being done by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan. Steiner spoke vehemently about the need for “clarity and transparency” from the government and the NGOs’ side as well. “I think the best situation is if you have transparency on one hand and appreciation on the other.”

The US Ambassador had on Wednesday flayed the government cracking down on various NGOs, saying those who act peacefully to seek change are not anti-government and not trying to weaken national security.

In a crackdown on NGOs allegedly receiving illegal foreign funds, the government had cancelled licences of nearly 9,000 such entities for violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) last month.

The US-based Ford Foundation was also put on the watch list by the home ministry. The ministry directed that funds coming from global donors shouldn’t be released by any bank to any NGO without mandatory permission from it. The government had also barred Greenpeace India from receiving foreign funds.

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