MOSCOW, October 27 (RAPSI) – The State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, adopted in the third and final reading on Friday a bill granting regional governments a right to evaluate the quality of socially beneficial services provided by socially-oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

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, the 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. These NGOs receive prioritized support from the government.