In a major setback to an NGO, the Union home ministry has cancelled the FCRA registration of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), barring it from receiving foreign funds. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the biggest donors to the NGO.
The MHA order has listed a six-point violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) accusing the leading NGO of misusing foreign funding by working with the anti-tobacco lobby.
The home ministry has alleged PHFI had opened multiple accounts without disclosing it to the ministry, possessing two PAN cards and also under reporting of its foreign donation by nearly Rs 200 crore in three years.
Meanwhile, PHFI chief K Srinath Reddy told news agency PTI that the NGO has got in touch with the ministry on the issue with a request for early resolution of the matter.
"We have submitted all relevant documents and information to the ministry and are now waiting for a response," he said.
Notably, the PHFI has been collaborating with a range of institutions including the ministry of health and Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to improve public health in India and improve global public health .
According to the website, PHFI was inaugurated by PM Manmohan Singh in 2006. Even the Union ministry of health and family welfare are said to its founder member.
PHFI has worked with several state governments in the recent past including Gujarat, Telangana, Odisha, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Delhi.
NGOs receiving foreign fund have been of foreigner division in MHA with FCRA licences being cancelled. But MHA say either NGOs are not confirming to law or the NGOs are in violation of law.