Putin approves measures to support NGOs during pandemic
President approved a list of measures to support NGOs during the pandemic.
Vladimir Putin has approved a series of measures following a meeting with participants in the all-Russian mutual aid campaign #МыВместе (Us Together) on 30 April.
Advice for NGOs, including social service providers
The President instructed the Russian government to develop measures supporting non-governmental organisations that have either been receiving support from the presidential grants fund since 2017, or grants distributed by Federal Executive authorities and local government. Vladimir Putin declared that organisers providing social services must be supported (item 1 in the list of orders). The President stated that a register of NGOs eligible for support must be created, and that the “provision of 3 billion roubles must be accelerated”, which must be given to organisations that assist social institutions and vulnerable citizens during lockdown as Putin decreed on 6 May 2020.
During May, the President should be kept informed on the following measures (for which Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is responsible):
- A six-month extension on payments of insurance premiums to the state’s extra-budgetary funds, on payment of taxes (including taxation according to special tax regimes) and advance tax payments, apart from VAT. In addition, a broadening of the eligibility criteria for these additional measures to include “other socially oriented non-profit organisations, taking into account the organisations’ recent activities in the context of a possible 30% reduction in funds (including donations) received to carry out their work.”
- Exemption from rent payments under lease agreements on Federal property that are paid into the state treasury (including land plots) for the period of April-June 2020, in accordance with the action taken to protect small and medium sized businesses.
- Deferral of rent payment for Federal real estate for as long as quarantine measures are in place.
- Developing, with the Russian Central Bank, a scheme providing subsidised soft loans to cover
part of employees’ salaries, on terms similar to those provided for small and medium sized businesses.
- Introduction of a delay in reporting on accounts to the Russian Federation Ministry of Justice and other authorities, and a delay in carrying out inspections of NGOs for the period of quarantine.
Support for manufacturers of rehabilitation products
In addition, Putin declared that companies manufacturing “rehabilitation-oriented products” must be included in the list of organisations most affected by the pandemic, and therefore must be considered as organisations in need of support.
Payments for social workers, and those providing accommodation and care for in-patients
- From 15 April to 15 July 2020 – additional payments will be made available on account of extraordinary working conditions for employees in socially oriented in-patient organisations. This includes shift-based work, where the employee must reside in the organisation for the duration of that shift. The volume of additional payments will depend on the employee’s category, the additional workload, the number of organisational changes in working conditions and the level of exposure to coronavirus;
- From 1 April to 30 June 2020 – special payments for employees of government organisations and NGOs who have continued to provide support for people with disabilities and elderly citizens who are currently living in social care. These payments will also be available for employees of government organisations, NGOs, volunteers and other citizens who have provided temporary accommodation and care (residence) for disabled people, the elderly, orphans living in social care, or children residing in organisations that support children who are without parental care. The payments will be at least one month’s minimum wage, depending on the number and nature of those taken temporarily into care by these individuals.
Benefits for businesses which assist NGOs
Putin also ordered that changes in tax legislation must be introduced by 20 May. They will relate to “costs recognised as legal expenses on the total sum of donations given by philanthropists to socially oriented NGOs, as specified in paragraph one in this declaration”.
Support for volunteers
By 20 May, the government together with the Association for Volunteering Centres must introduce additional measures to support volunteers who are “actively fighting against the spread of the coronavirus infection or are fighting to overcome the negative social consequences that emerge as a result.”
Recommendations for the heads of regions and municipalities
- To develop and implement tax, property and other support measures for socially-oriented non-profit organisations as specified in paragraph 1 on this list of instructions;
- To implement additional support measures for state and non-governmental inpatient hospitals and their employees;
- To defer rent payments on real estate own by regions and municipalities respectively;
- To ensure payments are made on time for social services provided by NGOs as well as maintaining the rate of purchase of such services, in particular those providing medical, social, psychological and pedagogical support to children with disabilities, so that psychological, pedagogical and social assistance continues to be provided to citizens in self-isolation;
- To alter the agreements on granting subsidies to non-profit organisations that provide social services, so that financial agreements can be fulfilled on a monthly basis;
- To ensure that socially oriented non-profit organisations that provide direct support to citizens amidst the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) or organisations engaged in providing social services to citizens, are able to continue their activities, despite the restrictive measures introduced to control the spread of infection.