Citizens' Issues
Ford Foundation under Indian Home Ministry watch
The Home Ministry has ordered that all the funds coming from Ford Foundation for any agency or NGOs in India will first need to be cleared by the Ministry
 
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), led by Rajnath Singh, has placed Ford Foundation under a watch list in national interest and security, say reports.
 
"Putting Ford Foundation on prior permission list, MHA has ordered that all the funds coming from Ford Foundation, US, for any agency or NGOs in country will first need to be cleared by the ministry. The action has been taken under section 46 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA)," a report from the Economic Times says.
 
According to the report, the MHA has asked Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to instruct all banks and their branches to ensure that any fund flow from Ford Foundation will first be cleared by the ministry.
 
"About $5 million in grants by the Ford Foundation, arguably the biggest such international funding agency, have been blocked by the Indian government in the past few months. The ostensible reason is that the recipient non-governmental organisations (NGOs) haven't filed annual reports and balance sheets with the home ministry. This also includes about $100,000 in grants to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)," the report says. 
 
New York-based Ford Foundation is one of the largest and most influential foundations in the world. For FY2011, the Foundation reported assets of $10 billion and approved $413 million in grants across the globe. According to reports, the Foundation had also funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) related with Aam Admi Party (AAP) leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Meera Sanyal and Yogendra Yadav. AAP, however, had denied receiving any funding from Ford Foundation.
 
According to the report from Economic Times, the Foundation has been on the radar of Indian intelligence agencies for decades, because of which the Finance Ministry was mandated to clear each grant that it made to NGOs. “This scrutiny intensified after it became known that the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement of 2011 got a boost from the Foundation with Arvind Kejriwal's NGO Kabir getting about $400,000,” the report says.
 
Earlier, the Gujarat government has accused Ford Foundation of violating Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) norms and directly interfering in internal affairs of the country and abetting communal disharmony in India. 
 
The Gujarat government, in a letter sent to the MHA on 10th March, has stated, “It is revealed during the course of investigation (in the riot relief fund embezzlement case) that Ford Foundation, established with the stated goal of promoting communal harmony, democratic principles and social justice, has been indulging in covert activities of promoting interests that are completely contradictory to the said goals.” 
 
The Gujarat government’s case was built on the use of two grants totalling $540,000 given by the Foundation to organizations connected with Teesta Setalvad, a social activist who has been actively pursuing court cases for victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots, says a report from LiveMint.

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COMMENTS

Ralph Rau

2 years ago

This is a big crime by the Ford Foundation

How dare they support anti-corruption movements which give rise to alternative political parties. How dare they support Teesta Setalvad whose NGO has secured 90% of the convictions in the Gujarat "riots".

The Ford Foundation must realise that movements against the abuses by the government of the day and in defense of human rights - all such movements are anti-national.

Centre considering MAT rules changes for clarifications
The government is considering clarificatory amendments to the rules on minimum alternate tax (MAT) for the benefit of foreign investors who are faced with retrospective capital tax gains demands worth Rs.40,000 crore.
 
"Clarificatory amendments to MAT rules are under consideration of the government," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told reporters here on Thursday on the sidelines of a conference on climate change.
 
In a meeting with foreign institutional investors (FIIs) here on Wednesday, Sinha asked them to wait for the court verdict. The matter has gone to the apex court and its decision is awaited.
 
However, the government has clarified that such demands would not apply to entities from jurisdictions like Singapore and Mauritius, which have Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) with India.
 
On Tuesday, a senior finance ministry official said the government will not yield to the demand of FIIs to withdraw tax notices issued to them.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his first full budget speech on February 28 said that capital gains made by foreign investors from the current fiscal would be exempted from minimum alternative tax (MAT), but the exemption does not apply retrospectively.
 
Many foreign investors have been concerned about receiving notices requesting their MAT calculations for the financial year 2011-2012. Jaitley said in Washington last week that these companies had asked for a waiver on the ground it was an unfair tax, but they lost the case in courts.
 
"So, for future, I have abolished it (minimum alternate tax on capital gains) from April 1, 2015," he said. "But their expectation that having lost the case, the state must now intervene, that looks a little difficult from my point of view."
 
The finance minister, however, said such funds had the option to take their appeal to the courts.

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COMMENTS

vswami

2 years ago

The purport and tenor of the stance the Revenue has sought to take, and been maintaining, to say the least, is not readily understood. In any view, that is not reconcilable but is out of tune with the ostensibly sound and logical line of reasoning adopted by the AAR in the Ruling in ‘Timken ‘case in favour of foreign companies. For a better appreciation, the analytical study and viewpoints shared through the website of LCI @ Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) may help.

SEBI cautions retail investors on NCDs and non-convertible preference shares offered through private placement

Any offer of securities made to 50 or more persons has to be construed as a “Public Offer” under the provisions of Companies Act, 1956, points out SEBI in a release

 

Some unlisted companies are luring retail investors by issuing  securities  including non-convertible debentures/ non-convertible preference  shares in the garb of private placement,  without  complying with the provisions of Companies Act, 1956 read  with  the Companies Act, 2013, SEBI (Issue and Listing of  Debt Securities), Regulations, 2008 and SEBI (Issue and Listing of  Non-Convertible  Redeemable Preference Shares),Regulations, 2013, points out SEBI in a release.
 
Any offer of securities made to 50 or more persons has to be construed as a “Public Offer” under the provisions of Companies Act, 1956, warns SEBI.
 
In case of private placements, the company shall not release any public advertisements or utilise any media, marketing or distribution channels or agents to inform the public at large about such an offer. Further, such offer or invitation shall not be made to more than 200 persons in the aggregate in a financial year, cautions SEBI.
 
Investors are also cautioned not to subscribe to such issues. List of the Companies against whom orders have been passed by SEBI is given below:
 
 

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