MOSCOW, September 13 (RAPSI) – The State Duma Committee for Development of Civil Society has approved a bill granting regional governments a right to evaluate the quality of socially beneficial services provided by socially-oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Committee’s statement reads on Wednesday.

According to the bill, regional bodies of Russia’s Justice Ministry will be able to acknowledge certain NGOs as providers of socially beneficial services and include them in a special registry.

On January 1, a law on socially-oriented NGOs, granting these organizations a right to obtain a special status stating that they provide socially beneficial services, came into force.

In March 2016, a group of MPs and senators filed a bill introducing a new term of “socially beneficial NGOs” with the lower house of parliament. Such status may be received by a socially-oriented NGO that provide quality socially beneficial services for at least a year, does not have a “foreign agent” status and does not have tax or other debts to the government. Such NGOs receive prioritized support from the government.