‘Govt of China, Chinese Embassy were donors to RGF led by Sonia Gandhi’

New Delhi

A startling revelation has come to light that the Govt of the Peoples Republic of China and the Chinese Embassy in India have been funding the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi is the Chairperson of RGF, and its board includes former PM Manmohan Singh, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, among others.

According to an RGF annual report accessed by IANS, in 2005-06, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received a donation from the government of People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Embassy as two separate donors. These were listed as donors in the report in the list of general donors. When contacted, for- mer FM and RGF Board member P Chidambaram told IANS, “You should put this question to the Chief Ex- ecutive.” According to estimates, the donation was worth $2 million between 2004 and 2006 and $9 million between 2006 and 2013.

Now, leap forward to 2009. The Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS) functions as a think- tank and carries extensive and relevant research on con- temporary issues.

As per the RGF annual report, in April 2009, RGICS Fel- low Mohammad Saqib carried out a feasibility study, ‘India-China: Free Trade Agreement (FTA)’, in association with Purnachandra Rao.

The main objective of the study was to gain a better understanding of an FTA between India and China, analyse various trade issues and identify who would stand to gain and lose from such an agreement. The report concluded that China would be the greater beneficiary in all trade dimensions because of the efficiency of its economy. “There is a principal need for India to improve its commodity structure to balance its performance of competitiveness and complementarities,” the study said.