President Aliyev Approves Stricter Control Over NGO Grants
On February 3 President Ilham Aliyev approved changes and amendments to the "On Grants" part of the law "On state registration of legal entities and the state register" of the Code of Administrative Offenses. The Cabinet of Ministers and executive authorities have three to five months to finish preparations and implement the changes.
In accordance with the new law, NGOs will be obliged to register grants they receive with the relevant government organ, providing detailed information such as the period of the contract, the grant's amount and goals. Authorities must be notified about any changes of the legal status of NGOs. In addition, tougher fines and registration conditions for operating without registration and violation of mission activities will be implemented.
The changes and amendments raised concerns and sparked protests among NGOs. Many of them believe that additional bureaucracy will complicate their work, give the government more control over NGOs and cause more corruption.