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India places Ford Foundation on ‘watch list’

India places Ford Foundation on ‘watch list’

NEW DELHI: India has cracked down on the Ford Foundation, saying the US charity can no longer give money to local organisations without government permission, the latest move against a foreign NGO, an official said on Friday.

A home ministry order says the foundation has been placed on a “watch list” to ensure funds are used for “bona fide welfare activities without compromising on concerns of national interest and security”.

The move follows a complaint from the government of the western state of Gujarat over the foundation’s grants to an NGO run by a long-time critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Home ministry spokesman K. S. Dhatwalia said the foundation had been involved in funding charities which are not registered to receive foreign funds.

“All funds have to be vetted by the ministry”, Dhatwalia said.

Modi’s nationalist government views aid organisations with foreign backing with suspicion and the prime minister has criticised what he calls “five-star activists”.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2015

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