Assistance Provided to 20 Local NGOs and International Organizations
Vsevolod Ovcharenko, Legal Consultant for Kazakhstan, aided twenty [24 consultations for 20
different entities] local and international NGOs in resolving legal questions and issues. Issues ranged
from registration and taxation to dissolution and labor relations. Consultations were provided to such
organizations and institutions as OSCE, USAID, US Embassy, IREX, Counterpart International, and
local NGOs Zhalgas, Diabetic Association of the Republic of Kazakhstan (DARK), Special Olympics
Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan Debate Center, Youth Information Service of Kazakhstan, IDC, CAID,
several associations of handicapped people and others. Through these consultations ICNL has been
able to identify those areas of law that prove most difficult for NGOs. Follow on projects are to
include workshops on common questions of NGOs and single page fact sheets for NGOs.
ICNL's Kazakhstan office arranged for the publication of the booklet Use of the Term NGO : Legal
Theory and Legislation of Foreign Countries (500 copies).
Implementation of the Newly Adopted Tax Code
After more than two years of ICNL technical assistance, on March 8, 2003, Kyrgyz President Askar
Akayev signed the Law on Amendments to the Tax Code. The new tax code provisions increase
allowable deductions for local donors from 2% to 5 %, provide new VAT exemptions for charitable
organizations, and eliminate previously existing restrictions on the ability of NGOs to claim tax
exemptions for income gained from humanitarian aid, grants, charitable donations, membership and
entry fees, and as endowments. ICNL is now working to ensure appropriate implementation of this
law in cooperation with government and civil society actors.
As a part of the on going technical assistance to the drafters of the Instructions, with the support of
Open Society Institute and Counterpart International, and the cooperation of Bearing Point (formerly
known as Barents Group), ICNL organized a workshop for government officials, deputies, and NGO
legal specialists to work on developing a Practical Guide to the recently adopted tax code. This
Practical Guide, once approved by the Ministry of Finance, would be used as an official guide
assisting with implementation of newly adopted amendments to broad range of users, including
lawyers, NGOs, and tax officials The project has the approval and participation of the Ministry of
Finance and Revenues' Committee. It is expected that the Practical Guide to Taxation of NGOs in
Kyrgyzstan will be published in mid to late 2003.
Education and Training on the Newly Adopted Tax Code for NGOs
In April ICNL Legal Consultant held a special legal session for the leaders of Civil Society Support
Centers with the main purpose of explaining the substance of newly adopted tax amendments. During
the training participants asked ICNL to develop educational materials and to provide technical
assistance on the issue of implementation of the newly adopted Law On tariff of social insurance
fees for 2003." In response, ICNL prepared a review/survey of the Law On tariff of social insurance
fees for 2003. This review was made available to interested NGOs.
Legal Drafting and Participatory Practice Seminars Sponsored by the European Union
ICNL participated in the European Union EuropeAid project, Support for the Centre for
Parliamentarism and Legislative Drafting under the Legislative Assembly of the Kyrgyz Republic.
In early May, ICNL Legal Consultant, Mr. Khvan, worked in cooperation with this project to conduct
a special session on the issue of legislative drafting techniques for the Young Lawyers Association.
And, on May 28, 2003, ICNL Program Director for Central Asia, Mr. Borrup, participated in the
seminar on participatory practices and gave a speech outlining a framework for participatory
practices. ICNL Legal Consultant for Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Khvan, also made a short presentation on
current practices in Kyrgyzstan.