New Delhi: In a statement on Wednesday, the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) said that it hopes the Ministry of Home Affairs’ decision to suspend the organisation’s Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act registration will be resolved soon. CPR also said that all its accounts are in order and it has always acted in accordance with the law.
In September last year, the Income Tax Department had carried out searches at CPR’s offices. Other NGOs, including Oxfam India, were also targeted. Since then, CPR said, it has responded to all the notices served to it. “CPR has and continues to cooperate fully with the authorities.”
“We are in complete compliance with the law and are routinely scrutinised and audited by government authorities, including theComptroller and Auditor General of India. We have annual statutory audits, and all our annual audited balance sheets are in the public domain. There is no question of having undertaken any activity that is beyond our objects of association and compliance mandated by law,” the statement continues.
Given the new order, suspending the FCRA registration, CPR says it will look into “all avenues of recourse available”. “Our work and institutional purpose is to advance our constitutional goals and protect constitutional guarantees. We are absolutely confident that the matter will be resolved speedily, in fairness and in the spirit of our constitutional values,” the organisation said.
In its statement, CPR also highlighted that it has several high-profile former government servants and diplomats associated with it, and has also worked on a number of government projects
“Founded in 1973, the Centre for Policy Research has been one of India’s leading policy research institutions, home to several eminent thinkers and policy practitioners whose contribution to policy in India is well recognised. It is an independent, non-partisan institution that conducts its work with complete academic and financial integrity. CPR works with government departments, autonomous institutions, charitable organisations and universities in India and across the globe. The institution’s work is globally recognised for its academic and policy excellence. Full-time and visiting scholars at CPR include members of NITI Aayog (Government of India’s think tank), former diplomats, civil servants, members of the Indian Army, journalists and leading researchers.
Through its five-decade long history, CPR has worked in partnership with governments and grassroots organisations – these include partnerships with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Government on Odisha, Government of Punjab, Government of Tamil Nadu, Government of Meghalaya, Government of Rajasthan amongst others. Through their research and writing, CPR scholars have made pioneering contributions to public policy in India.”
In an order dated February 27, the MHA has alleged that CPR has been using its FCRA funds for purposes other than the educational programmes for which the licence was granted. Because of this, the notice says, the organisation’s FCRA registration stands suspended for 180 days or until further notice.