The government will step up monitoring of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) — especially those in tribal belts — to check inflow of foreign funds in violation of rules, minister of state in the prime minister’s office V Narayanasamy said, denying, however, a “witch-hunt”.
Battle lines are being drawn between the government and NGOs after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks in a magazine interview, where he blamed financiers in the US and Scandinavian nations for funding home-grown NGOs that resist the government’s policies.
Earlier, Narayanasamy followed up Singh’s statement against NGOs’ role in stoking the unrest in Kudankulam, announcing on Friday that three such outfits had been diverting foreign funds to block the nuclear power project.
On Saturday, he told HT: “We can’t stop opposition. India is a democracy. But NGOs violating laws, especially those in tribal areas, will be booked.”
India has a plethora of grassroots-level NGOs, which advocate an alternative path of development, often holding back the government’s plans.
But Narayanasamy said the PM’s remark should not be misconstrued. “The PM was only pointing to the reality. The government respects the space for NGOs.”