Draft law on support for SONGOs passes first reading in Duma
The State Duma of the RF has accepted in its first reading the draft law, proposing to offer non-commercial organisations, “providers of socially significant services”, informational support as well as establishing a time frame for the allocation of a subsidies. Such support measures should be provided for at least two years. Furthermore, during the first reading, an amendment was accepted in the Budgetary Code of the RF, regarding the procedure of providing subsidies to non-commercial organisations that are not state-owned institutions.
“It is symbolic that the first reading of the bill took place on the eve of the presidential address. This document appeared largely as a development of points that were made in the previous address, which resulted in the order on the emergence of a new status of NGOs – “providers of socially significant services.” In the development of this narrative, more legislative acts emerged, including two draft laws which were accepted in their first reading. This almost completes the development of the regulatory framework in order to formulate the new measures to support non-commercial organisations,” said Elena Topoleva, a member of the Civic Chamber.
It also highlighted that the time-bound subsidies that are expected in the draft law will affect the stability of NGOs. One of the greatest challenges for non-commercial organisations is the short planning time-frame, explained Topoleva. She considers that “socially significant services, provided by NGOs, will be provided with greater confidence in the future.”
Within the framework of the hearings of the State Duma, Deputy Olga Batalina said that a necessary condition for the introduction of new measures to support NGOs will be changes in regional legislation and the adoption of new regulations at state level in which such support measures will be provided. The regulatory framework in the regions should be established by early 2017. According to Lidia Mikheeva, a member of the Civic Chamber, it is difficult to assess the prospects for the implementation of a new law until specific financial support indicators are fixed at the level of regional legislation.