Indian public health group loses permit for foreign funds - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Indian public health group loses permit for foreign funds

NEW DELHI (AP) - India's government has canceled permission for foreign funding for one of the country's main public health organizations, whose donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It's the latest move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in cracking down on charities and nonprofits that receive funds from overseas and are often criticized for working against national interests.

Rajeev Chhibber, spokesman for the Public Health Foundation of India, said Friday that the organization received a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs saying it lost its registration to get foreign money last week. Chhibber said the Gates Foundation was among the larger donors to the group, which gets about 45 percent of its funding from overseas. Other donors include the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

The ministry had specifically asked the group to explain its spending on HIV/AIDS and anti-tobacco programs.

In a statement, Chhibber said all the programs run by the Public Health Foundation were in step with the Indian government's National Health Policy. The organization also provides technical assistance to the federal government and several state governments on several subjects including tobacco control and HIV/AIDS.

Chhibber said the organization had submitted all the required documents to the ministry. He said his group is seeking "an early resolution of the issue" and continuation of its registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

India began cracking down on foreign-funded charities after a government intelligence bureau report said economic growth was hurt when certain groups rallied communities against polluting industries.

Over the last two years it has accused the groups including Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Action Aid of providing reports "used to build a record against India and serve as tools for the strategic foreign policy interests of Western governments."

In February the government blocked foreign funding to Compassion International, a U.S.-based Christian charity, amid allegations that it was using its charity work as a front for religious conversions. The group shut down its program, which worked largely with poor children in India.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Trump heads into tough week with budget, health care battles

    Trump heads into tough week with budget, health care battles

    Sunday, April 23 2017 5:22 PM EDT2017-04-23 21:22:37 GMT
    Sunday, April 23 2017 5:22 PM EDT2017-04-23 21:22:37 GMT
    President Donald Trump is heading into one of the most challenging weeks of his presidency, juggling a renewed push on health care and a looming budget deadline.
    President Donald Trump is heading into one of the most challenging weeks of his presidency, juggling a renewed push on health care and a looming budget deadline.
  • Bloomberg to world leaders: Ignore Trump on climate

    Bloomberg to world leaders: Ignore Trump on climate

    Sunday, April 23 2017 5:03 PM EDT2017-04-23 21:03:36 GMT
    Sunday, April 23 2017 5:03 PM EDT2017-04-23 21:03:36 GMT
    New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg is warning world leaders not to follow President Donald Trump's lead on climate change.
    New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg is warning world leaders not to follow President Donald Trump's lead on climate change.
  • California moves - slowly - toward resuming executions

    California moves - slowly - toward resuming executions

    Sunday, April 23 2017 5:03 PM EDT2017-04-23 21:03:29 GMT
    Sunday, April 23 2017 5:03 PM EDT2017-04-23 21:03:29 GMT
    California has long been what one expert calls a "symbolic death penalty state," but it might be easing back toward allowing executions, prodded by voters and lawsuits.
    California has long been what one expert calls a "symbolic death penalty state," but it might be easing back toward allowing executions, prodded by voters and lawsuits.
Powered by Frankly