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NGOs ask President to veto draft law on financial reporting

Representatives of NGOs in Kyrgyzstan appealed to the President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov on a draft law providing for financial reporting by NGOs. It was adopted on Thursday, June 17. At least 83 deputies of Parliament voted for it.

The appeal says that the bill contains discriminatory norms that contradict the basic democratic principles of regulating the activities of non-profit organizations (NGOs), and if adopted, will significantly limit their activities.

NGOs representatives note that the draft law proposes to establish additional burdensome requirements only for a part of non-profit organizations registered in the following organizational and legal forms — a public foundation, a public association, an association of legal entities and an institution.

Provisions of the bill on the inclusion in the law of provision on introduction of a new annual reporting for NGOs on income and expenses and the requirement to publish it on a special website of the Ministry of Justice cause greatest concern.

Human rights defenders and representatives of the civil sector note that the current legislation of Kyrgyzstan already provides for provision of information by NGOs to the Tax Service, the Social Fund and statistics on their activities, including information on the financial situation, the availability of property, expenses, the number and composition of employees, their remuneration, and so on.

State bodies have ample opportunities to exercise control over the compliance by NGOs with the requirements of laws and other regulatory legal acts.

From the appeal of non-governmental organizations to the President

The applicants remind that the institutions of state power also have the right to take appropriate measures in case of violations on the part of the representatives of NGOs.

They clarify that the provisions of the draft law are discriminatory for NGOs in comparison with commercial organizations, which are not subject to the new reporting requirements. In accordance with international practice, the legal regulation of the activities of NGOs that do not have the special status of a «charitable organization», which gives them the right to certain benefits, should be similar to the legal regulation of the activities of commercial organizations.

Kyrgyzstan consistently maintains the status of the most democratic country in Central Asia. The adoption of laws that create additional burdensome norms for NGOs undermines the existing status and image of the country in the eyes of the world community.

The bill, if adopted, the applicants stress, will have a negative effect on all NGOs, including charitable and humanitarian organizations that provide social services to the population.

They note that the establishment of the aforementioned onerous requirements is fraught with a reduction in investment in the non-profit sector of Kyrgyzstan, which will lead to a reduction in the provision of social services, which the population of the country desperately needs; this can lead to social tension.

«In our opinion, the initiators of the draft law do not fully understand the importance and scale of the activities of NGOs in Kyrgyzstan, which make a significant contribution to the economic and social development of the country. We perform those functions that the state and market institutions are unable to properly implement, thereby reducing social tension in society,» the appeal says.

Activists ask the head of state to veto it.

The appeal was signed by:

League of Defenders of the Rights of the Child Public Foundation — Nazgul Turdubekova,

Union of People with Disabilities Equality NGO- Gulmira Kazakunova,

First Children’s Hospice Public Charity Foundation — Olga Trukhanova,

Association of Parents of Children with Disabilities NGO — Turdubu Zhumabekova,

Chance Crisis Center NGO — Elena Tkacheva,

Center for Protection of Children NGO — Mira Itikeeva,

Move Forward NGO — Takhmina Asanova,

Zhanyrtuu Public Charity Foundation — Anastasia Kolodyazhnaya,

Open Line Public Foundation — Munara Beknazarova,

Sezim Crisis Center NGO — Bubusara Ryskulova,

Pomogat Legko Public Foundation — Dinara Alyaeva,

Oasis Public Charity Foundation — Meerim Osmonalieva.