Trouble lurks for Greenpeace India as IB writes to revenue secy on financial irregularities

The home ministry had also rejected the NGO's clarification that it was working democratically saying that its activists were doing nothing meant for the environment 'while hurting our national interest'.

FP Staff April 21, 2015 22:48:17 IST
Trouble lurks for Greenpeace India as IB writes to revenue secy on financial irregularities

Greenpeace India is heading for trouble in all likelihood as the Intelligence Bureau has reportedly advised the finance ministry to remove any income-tax exemption citing alleged financial irregularities.

Trouble lurks for Greenpeace India as IB writes to revenue secy on financial irregularities

Volunteers of Greenpeace. Agencies

According to a report in The Economic Times, the IB already informed revenue secretary Shaktikanta Das about the alleged irregularities.

"We are not surprised the government is using institutional power to orchestrate an attack on Greenpeace... This is yet another action that we will contest and assert our legitimate status as a non-profit charity involved in environmental protection," Greenpeace India, executive director, Samit Aich told The Economic Times.

Few days ago, the government froze the NGO's bank accounts on the grounds that it was encouraging anti-development campaigns. Reports indicated that the Ministry of Home Affairs had decided to freeze the accounts on the basis of an inspection report that claims the NGO was using funds to bail arrested activists, pay high salaries and keep foreign consultants to aid in carrying out protests.

The home ministry, which monitors donations from abroad to domestic NGOs, had noted activists had been arrested for violations of laws like the Indian Penal Code and other criminal laws, and said that Greenpeace had been funding legal costs in breach of law.

The home ministry had also rejected the NGO's clarification that it was working democratically saying that its activists were doing nothing meant for the environment "while hurting our national interest".

The seven bank accounts of Greenpeace in IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank were frozen with immediate effect and the NGO was told that it can appeal against the order in 30 days.

Meanwhile, the Centre has also temporarily suspended the registration of Greenpeace India Society under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act 2010 (FCRA).

A Times of India report notes that the Ministry of Home Affairs had noted in an inspection report that the Indian arm of the NGO had been incurring rising legal expenditure since 2008, which included bail bonds for arrested activists, and said the funds were disbursed without the consent of the donor as required under a section of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

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