New curbs on Greenpeace funding in India reported

Group’s lawyers reviewing decision, which comes a month after Delhi court lifted travel ban on activist Priya Pillai.

Greenpeace India
Greenpeace say the ban on foreign funding will affect 30 percent of their donor income [AP]

India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has banned the Indian branch of the environmental activist group Greenpeace from receiving funds from abroad.

A spokesperson for the group told Al Jazeera on Thursday the organisation was not officially informed about the move, and only learnt about the government decision from media reports.

“About 70 percent of our income comes from Indians, so we will lose about 30 percent that comes from international donors,” the spokesperson said.

Tweets posted by Greenpeace India said the organisation had followed procedures set out by the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which oversees foreign funding for domestic groups.

Another post said their lawyers were reviewing the decision.

Documents posted by the Indian government on the Ministry of Home Affairs website say that an audit of Greenpeace India’s accounts conducted in September had shown transactions the organisation had not informed authorities about.

Samit Aich, executive director of Greenpeace India, said the ministry was trying to “silence criticism and dissent” in a statement reported by the Times of India newspaper.

In January Priya Pillai, an activist for the group, was prevented from boarding a flight to London despite having a valid visa to travel.

In March, Delhi High Court ordered the government to lift the ban on her travelling. Greenpeace said then it wanted the government to “stop its harassment of civil society”.

Source: Al Jazeera