Monday, April 22, 2024

Omidyar Network, in news for funding The Wire, Newslaundry etc, in MHA crosshairs

In a fresh crackdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has limited the funding of 10 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) related to climate and child labor and added several foreign organizations including United States Omidyar Network International, to the PRC list (Prior Reference Category) under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010.

According to a report, RBI has directed all the banks through an internal note that any fund flow from the (specified) donor agencies to any NGO/Voluntary organization/ persons mentioned in the PRC list “should be brought to the Ministry of Home Affairs so that the funds are allowed to be credited to the recipients only after clearance/ prior permission from the MHA’s Foreigners Division of the FCRA wing.”

It’s important to remember that Omidyar Network International is notorious for funding several digital news websites that are fueling anti-India narratives including The Wire, The Scroll, NewsClick, NewsLaundry, and  The News Minute. 

Besides funding media, Omidyar is also behind Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories- the two ‘NGOs’ that have constantly put out fake narratives against the current government and alleged that thousands of phone numbers were being spied upon by the Indian governments through the Pegasus spyware of NSO Group. 

Amnesty International also receives its funding from George Soros who is also infamous for resolutely working towards opposing the Indian state. 

Apart from Omidyar, more than 80 such foreign organizations are under the radar of the government’s PRC list. The list also includes Australia-based Walk Free Foundation and Minderoo Foundation and Britain’s Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Freedom fund and Laudes foundation. 

While there have been no comments from RBI, an official has said that despite India’s record in complying with the Paris agreement, “global pressures are intensifying on India to raise the nationally determined contributions”.

The official further added, “In order to create noise in the media, several pro-climate NGOs are focusing on advocacy against coal, which is considered a violation of FCRA provisions.”

So far, the Indian government has cancelled the FCRA licenses of more than 6,600 NGOs and suspended those of about 264 after they were found involved in money laundering, ‘religious conversions’ and other activities to weaken India.

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