Prominent public think-tank Centre for Policy Research has said it would "explore all avenues of recourse" after its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence was suspended earlier today by the Union Home ministry over alleged violations of Income Tax laws. The suspension means the think tank will not be able to receive foreign funding.
The non-profit, a recognised institution of the Department of Science and Technology, receives grants from the Indian Council for Social Science Research. Its donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania, the World Resources Institute and the Duke University.
In a statement, the CPR said the IT department a survey on its premises in September last year. "As part of the survey follow-up process, CPR received several notices from the department.
Following the process, detailed and exhaustive responses have been submitted to the department. CPR has and continues to cooperate fully with the authorities beyond our objects of association and compliance mandated by law," the statement read.
"In the light of the current MHA order, we will explore all avenues of recourse available to us. Our work and institutional purpose is to advance our constitutional goals and protect constitutional guarantees. We ae absolutely confident that the matter will be resolved speedily, in fairness and in the spirit of our constitutional values," the statement added.
The CPR has been asked to provide documents for the FCRA funds it receives. Its license was due for renewal in 2021.
In its statement, the CPR said it conducts advanced and in-depth research on a wide range of policy-relevant issues, with a focus on India's 21st-century challenges.
Over the last five decades, the CPOR said it has worked with several government departments, including the ministries of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Rural Development and Jal Shakti. The state governments it had partnered on various projects include that of Rajasthan, Punjab, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya nd others.
"Through their research and writing, CPR scholars have made pioneering contributions to public policy in India," the statement read.
In January last year, the FCRA licence of non-profit Oxfam was suspended, after which it filed a revision petition with the home ministry.