Govt bars top public health NGO from receiving foreign funds

The government has barred an NGO from receiving foreign funding including from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for alleged violation of the law.
The home ministry has cancelled the FCRA registration of Delhi-based Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), thereby barring the NGO from receiving foreign contribution.
As per the government rules, an organisation that intends to receive foreign funds has to register under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
The action against the PHFI was taken after the ministry found that the NGO was allegedly violating provisions of the FCRA by “diverting” foreign funds for purposes other than intended for, official sources.
PHFI chief K Srinath Reddy said today the NGO has got in touch with the ministry on the issue with a request for early resolution of the mattr. “We have submitted all relevant documents and information to the ministry and are now waiting for a response,” he said.
The PHFI claims it is a non-profit, public-private initiative working in the field of public health in India.
According to the PHFI website, the NGO was launched by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006. It claimed that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is a founder member and supporter of the PHFI and enabled its creation. The NGO claimed that the governments of Gujarat, Telangana, Odisha, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Delhi are its supporters, besides Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other such bodies. According to the PHFI website, they include Infosys Foundation, HT Parekh Foundation, HCL Corporation, Rohini Nilekani, Reliance Industries, GMR Projects Pvt. Ltd. The PHFI claimed that the chairman of the executive committee of its governing body is Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy and members include former deputy chairman of planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

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