For all the talk about the Modi government ostracizing NGOs and tightening the rules for foreign funding and cancelling licenses of thousands of NGO, the highest ever inflow of foreign donations has come under its watch.
While the subject of foreign donations for non-governmental organizations has always been controversial, a look at numbers in the last two decades will bring into focus the quantum of funds involved.
In the last two decades, NGOs have received a total of Rs 2.08 lakh crore under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) beginning 1998-99 up to 2017-18.
In the first year used for the tabulation, 1998-99, the foreign donations were Rs 3,925 crore which reached more than four times at Rs 16,902 crore in 2017-18.
There have been sharp jumps in funds received from foreign sources in the tenure of the Modi government, including recording ever funding of more than Rs 18,000 crore in a single year.
Subsequently, there have been sharp jumps in funds received from foreign sources. In 2014-15, foreign donations were at Rs 15,297 crore and Rs 17,765, another big jump in 2105-16 and crossed its highest ever figure at more than Rs 18,000 crore in 2016-17 at Rs 18,109 crore. In the last year of the twenty year history, foreign donations were Rs 16,902 crore in 2017-18.
The foreign donations were at Rs 4,535 crore in 1999-2000, Rs 4,871 crore in the next year, Rs 5,047 crore in 2001-02 and Rs 5,105 in 2002-03.
The number went up sharply in 2003-04 to Rs 6,257 crore and even more sharply to Rs 7,877 crore in the next year and crossed Rs 11,000 crore in a huge jump in 2005-06 to Rs 11,007 crore.
It came down to Rs 9,663 crore in 2006-07 and crossed Rs 10k crore in 2007-08 to Rs 10,802 crore and Rs 10,338 crore in the next year and flat at Rs 10,334 crore in the year after that.
Foreign donations crossed Rs 12,000 crore for the first time in 2012-13 at Rs 12,614 crore and went up even more sharply in the next year to Rs 14,853 crore.
There have been several run ins of the Modi government with NGOs and it has cancelled several licences of NGOs for obstructing growth and vicious propaganda.