Foreign funded NGOs affecting India’s economic growth

Ques. Describe how foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are negatively impacting economic development of India.

An Intelligence Bureau report has accused “foreign-funded” NGOs such as Greenpeace, Cordaid, Amnesty and Action Aid of “serving as tools for foreign policy interests of western governments” by sponsoring agitations against nuclear and coal-fired power plants across the country. Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation are the two principal international contributors to Greenpeace India Society.

How foreign funded NGOs are affecting India’s economic growth:

  • Claimed by IB(Intelligence Bureau) report, The NGOs, said to be working through a network of local organizations such as PUCL and Narmada Bachao Andolan, have negatively impacted GDP growth by 2-3%.
  • A significant number of Indian NGOs (funded by some donors based in the US, the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavian countries) have been noticed to be using people centric issues to create an environment which lends itself to stalling development projects.
  • According to report, these foreign donors lead local NGOs to provide field reports which are used to build a record against India and serve as tools for the strategic foreign policy interests of Western governments.
  • The IB report alleges that Greenpeace is trying to raise issues of hazardous e-waste generated by Information Technology-based service providers, opposing genetically modified food and coal fired power plants which are known to cause serious damage to environment.

Repot says that the “areas of action” of the foreign-funded NGOs include anti-nuclear, anti-coal and anti-Genetically Modified Organisms protests, apart from stalling mega industrial projects including those floated by POSCO and Vedanta, these NGOs have also been working to the detriment of mining, dam and oil drilling projects in north-eastern India.

Under Indian law only those organizations that are registered with the Foreign Contributions Registration Act are eligible to receive funds from foreign donors. Some companies whose infrastructure projects have come under such public scrutiny have alleged that it’s the work of rival companies. Transparency on source of funds will end any such defence tactics and keep the focus where it’s needed — on any project-related concerns and alleged misconduct.

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