All NGOs have to abide by law: govt

All NGOs have to abide by law: govt

The government on Thursday rejected the United States’ criticism over the curbs imposed on American NGO Compassion International, stating that all such organisations had to abide by the law of the land.

“As is obvious, any NGO, foreign or Indian, is to operate in India – or for that matter anywhere else in the world – within the laws of the country,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay told journalists in New Delhi.

His comment came shortly after a spokesperson of the American State Department said that Washington DC would take up with New Delhi the issue of shutting down of the Christian non-profit organisation’s operations in India.

“Unfortunately, we have seen over the past couple of years a number of foreign-funded NGOs in India that have encountered significant challenges in continuing their operations,” Mark Toner, acting spokesman of the US State Department, said in Washington DC. Compassion International is set to shut down its operations in India.

It alleged that the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs to put it in “prior-permission category” had made it difficult for the organisation to operate in the country.

When an NGO is put under the “prior-permission category”, it has to take approval from the Home Ministry to receive or disburse donations from abroad.

“The NGOs do valuable work overseas. Certainly these countries and governments have their own reasons for the laws they pass, but we believe it should be transparent and clear why they're shutting down these organisations,” he said.

Toner said the US would take up the matter with India.

A few hours later, Baglay, however, told journalists in Delhi that the process of imposing the restrictions had been “very transparent”.

“We have been fully transparent in this regard,” he said.

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