Think Tank CPR Is Being “Harrassed For Independent Thinking”: Congress

The FCRA licence of Centre for Policy Research has been suspended for six months (Representational)

New Delhi:

The Congress on Wednesday hit out at the BJP government, saying this was “new India” where people with independent thinking are “harassed”, after the FCRA licence of a top public think-tank was suspended by the Union home ministry.

The ministry has suspended the licence the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) for six months over alleged violation of laws, officials said.

Congress general secretary communications Jairam Ramesh tweeted that “a top research organisation that was close to the ruling establishment after May 2014 is now being harassed for its independent thinking”.

“Mr. Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) wants drumbeaters and will not tolerate any questioning of his policies, however professional. This is new India,” he said. CPR, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in a statement, said it continues to cooperate fully with authorities, is in complete compliance with the law and is routinely scrutinised and audited by government authorities, including the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. CPR was under scrutiny after Income Tax surveys on it and Oxfam India in September last year. The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of CPR has been suspended over alleged violation of laws, the officials said.

Oxfam’s FCRA licence was suspended in January last year, after which the NGO had filed a revision petition with the home ministry. With the suspension of its licence, given under the FCRA, the Centre for Policy Research will not be able to receive any funds from abroad.

The donors of CPR included the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania, the World Resources Institute and the Duke University, the officials said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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