Syro-Malabar church against ban on erring NGOs getting foreign funds

Saturday, Jun 13, 2015,20:28 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | Terming the Centre’s recent decision to bar erring NGOs from receiving foreign funds as mass murder, the Syro-Malabar Church today said the church agencies must challenge the decision, if government is arbitrarily or unjustly cancelling their licenses.
Fr Paul Thelakkat, spokesperson for the Syro Malabar church, described as mass murder the NDA government’s decision to cancel the licence of a total of 13,445 NGOs. The government, which had in April this year cancelled licences of 8,975 NGOs under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) for non-filing of annual returns and other anomalies, this week cancelled the licences of 4,470 NGOs for the same reasons.
The church said the government must control and monitor foreign funds and it should not be allowed to utilise for anti-governmental activities. But are these cancellations of 13,445 NGOs motivated by pure national interest as per the spirit of the law? Such a mass murder provokes certain questions.
Wasn’t there a government before this one and can we think that government was so lenient with these laws creating national security risks? What is behind the mass cancellations? Thelakat said. I express my anxiety over such cancellations… the present government sees the NGOs with discomfort if not antipathy, he said.
The church spokesman said NGOs which work among poor are to be encouraged if we want a country’s development… not only of the corporates but also the poor and underprivileged, with whom the NGOs work to conscientise and develop them.
He expressed hope that the government will realise the importance of the NGOs in creating a humanism where every Indian poor and marginalized are counted, important and equal with others. Thelakat said he did not have details of the church agencies receiving foreign funds, but said they must file their returns and work within the stipulated legal frames.
The church agencies receiving foreign funds must fight out their cases if government is arbitrarily or unjustly cancelling their licenses which may have to be done individually, he said.