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Russian Public Chamber Supports Changes To Distributing Grants Among NPOs

MOSCOW. Aug 23 (Interfax) - New regulations for distributing grants among non-profit organizations (NPOs) will make it possible to minimize lobbying and pressure on the bodies which are in charge of grant distribution decisions, the Russian Public Chamber says.

"In 2006, there were instances of pressure on the part of NPOs and other high officials," Maria Slobodskaya, chairman of the Public Chamber commission for civil society development, said at a seminar for NPO representatives on Thursday.

"Many people complained that the grant competition was not open enough, and this is why the Public Chamber recommended that six operating organizations introduce a grant distribution competition," she said.

"Last year's funding was simply subsidies, not grants," Slobodskaya said.

A total of 500 million rubles were allocated in 2006 and 1.25 billion rubles in 2007. "As far as I know, 300 million rubles more will be allocated in 2008 compared with 2007," Slobodskaya said.