PM says American NGOs fund nuclear protests

NEW DELHI Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:05am IST

1 of 3. India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses the 66th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Chip East

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - American NGOs fund the protests that hold India back from building the nuclear reactors it needs to meet fast-growing energy needs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in an interview published in Science magazine on Friday.

Among the plants suffering delays is the Kudankulam power station in Tamil Nadu, which was due to open last year. Progress on the Russian-built reactor has been halted by protesters over safety fears.

"The atomic energy programme has got into problems because these NGOs, mostly I think based in the United States, don't appreciate the need for our country to increase the energy supply," Singh said in the interview (bit.ly/zUT6gJ)

The PM also blamed protests against genetically modified crops on groups he said were funded from the United States and Scandinavian countries.

"(They are) not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces," he said.

Media commentaries said his remarks were reminiscent of an era when India was more inward looking and saw foreign influence behind many of the country's problems.

Protesters at Kudankulam have denied that they get overseas financing, and say an interior ministry investigation into the accounts of dozens of protest groups in the area turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India are allowed to receive foreign financing, with certain restrictions. A member of Singh's cabinet on Friday said three NGOs had lost their license to operate for inappropriately using funds.

The Kudankulam power station is one of several planned power projects that are seen as vital to plugging huge electricity shortages that have damaged economic growth.

Protests by local people against the power station gathered pace after the Fukushima accident in Japan in March last year. In December, Singh said the plant would be open within weeks.

(Reporting By Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by John Chalmers and Sanjeev Miglani)

FILED UNDER:

Banking

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Tobacco Control

Tobacco Control

India moves toward ban on loose cigarettes to deter smoking   Full Article 

Pressure on RBI

Pressure on RBI

Exclusive - RBI under pressure to cut rates as growth slips  Full Article 

Asset Sale Dates

Asset Sale Dates

India yet to decide on dates for key asset sales - official   Full Article 

Women on Boards

Women on Boards

Germany to introduce legal quotas for women on company boards  Full Article 

OPEC Oil Talks

OPEC Oil Talks

Saudi, Russia pre-OPEC talks yield no oil output cut  Full Article 

India-U.S. Trade

India-U.S. Trade

India, U.S. hold first trade dialogue in four years  Full Article 

SAARC Summit

SAARC Summit

China looms over SAARC summit in the Himalayas  Full Article 

Microsoft in China

Microsoft in China

Microsoft to pay China $140 million for 'tax evasion'   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage