Ministry of Finance proposes cuts to support for social NGOs

 05.03.2015, Russian Federation

Draft amendments to the federal budget, which have been drawn up by the Finance Ministry on the basis of a revised macroeconomic forecast for 2015, propose a reduction in financial support for social NGOs of more than 960m roubles. In an Annex to eight draft emergency amendments to the budget, which have to be finalised by the government by 5 March, the Finance Ministry has suggested introducing a blanket refusal for federal subsidies for social NGO projects, thereby reducing costs by 690m roubles during 2015. A further 266m roubles of savings within the Bill have been proposed which will be achieved by eliminating state subsidies for social NGOs’ information, consultative and system support programmes. The bill also envisages a saving of 5,515,000 roubles in the funding of statistical surveys and census data for sub-programmes related to “improving the effectiveness of state support to socially-orientated NGOs”.

At the end of 2014, NGO support programmes were operating in 74 regions across Russia, each receiving an annual subsidy of around 2,000 roubles from the federal budget for NGO projects relating to further education, social adaptation for the disabled, the prevention of social orphanhood, support for the elderly etc.

This year, the Ministry for Economic Development carried out a competitive review of bodies/individuals within the Russian Federation that should receive subsidies for social NGO projects, in line with a decision taken by the Coordinating Council for Support to NGOs. As a result, it was decided that 55 Russian regions should receive financial help for project implementation (as recorded in the minutes of the Council meeting held on 18 February 2015).

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