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    05 february, 2012

    Gentlemen, you have a wrong start!

    Author: Yelena Topoleva-Soldunova, no comments

    When I started to hold the post of the chairman of social policy committee I had to deal with different emergencies, for example, children's services want to deprive mother of her children, the authorities try to break up an ungraded orphanage of family type, the childhood protection program was abolished for no explicable reasons in one of the regions and many other cases.  Actually, all these situations could be expected as our social sphere leaves much to be desired.

    Last year in the Civic Chamber we were constantly discussing the only way to solve social problems is to modernize social sphere by engaging noncommercial organizations, involving their potential to provide people with services, test innovation technologies, conduct personal work with those in need for help. We laid hopes on the new State Duma as a potential promoter and supporter of these ideas. However, the Duma started not from searching ways to assist noncommercial organizations, but from making legislation specifying their activity more severe.  First of all, it concerned organizations that were financed from abroad.

    Rumours began to ooze out in the noncommercial organizations society, people were concerned bad times were coming, legislation would be made more severe, examinations would be more tough and frequent…

    How can we talk about any development if every three years we face a tightening and threatening wave? During last three years the Civic Chamber, the President's Council on civil society and human rights development and different expert organizations worked hard to ease registration, accounting, current operations for noncommercial organizations in order to provide them with conditions to develop themselves and help out civil society to do the same.

    Thanks to the president’s support, who highly appreciated noncommercial organizations potential and pointed out the necessity to ease their existence conditions and support their activity, the legislation adopted many useful amendments, for example, registration and accounting were simplified, tax burden was eased. It was not at all easy to achieve!
    So after all taken measures we hear from the «United Russia» delegates that making this legislation more severe is again on the agenda.

    Just wonder, how long will it do on like this?

    Beyond dispute noncommercial organizations should be controlled, especially if the have tax remissions (so far there are almost none). We also agree it is inadmissible to finance political activity using foreign money, but that has been already stated in our legislation!

    If legality of any noncommercial organizations activity arises doubts, it can be checked! All means to do it already exist, like the Justice Department and Prosecutor General's Office at long last. Why to play havoc in noncommercial organizations and get back to already discussed problems?

    Perhaps, some State Duma newcomers simply do not know what noncommercial organizations are, what they do and how they are controlled (it seems, so it is). In this case, all the more, they should find out what they fight before cracking down.

    Sometimes the Duma colleagues can make very weird statements about noncommercial organizations, some legislators’ incompetence can barely shock…

    Gentlemen, you have a wrong start...

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