GORKI, December 5 (Itar-Tass) —— President Dmitry Medvedev said he expected the final report on power decentralisation in Russia on Tuesday, December 6.
“Tomorrow I will be meeting with [Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry] Kozak [head of the working group on legal aspects of power redistribution] and [Deputy Prime Minister Alexander] Khloponin [presidential representative in the North Caucasian Federal District, head of the working group on financial aspects of decentralisation] who should present to me the results of their sorrowful work concerning re-evaluation of inter-budgetary relations,” the president said at a meeting with his supporters on Monday, December 5.
He noted that on the basis of this report “the final decisions will be made, including on programmes [of support to regions]”.
Medvedev said earlier that a new system of inter-budgetary relations will come effective in Russia in the middle of 2012 or early 2013.
Two working groups are now drafting suggestions on the redistribution of powers and revenues between the federal and regional authorities to submit them by December.
According to the president, “giving additional sources [of revenue to the local authorities] will the right thing to do” so that they can finance their obligations concerning the construction and maintenance of roads, health facilities, etc.
“The new system will become operational from the middle of 2012 or 2013,” he said.
The final report on the transfer of executive powers from the federal government to regions will be submitted to the president by December 1, 2011.
Kozak said that the report would be coordinated with the working group on financial and tax issues and inter-budgetary relations.
An interim report has so far been submitted to the president. In it, the working group supported the transfer of supervisory functions in the fields sanitary-epidemiological and veterinary control, cadastral registration and valuation of real estate, as well as state registration of rights to real estate to regions and local administrations.
In addition, supervisory functions in the field of civil defence and protection of the population in emergency situations have also been transferred to regions.
Kozak stressed that the transfer of powers “should be finished as quickly as possible” in order to determine the structure and composition of the government by next May, depending on which functions will be retained by the federal authorities and which will be delegated to regions.
Medvedev instructed the Federation Council to study the question of distributing power between the federal, regional and municipal authorities.
The transfer of some of the budget powers to regions and municipalities will reduce the share of the federal budget by 0.5-1 trillion roubles, Russian presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich said earlier.
“The idea is to make the decision, based on the experience of the last three years, to transfer a part of powers to lower levels of the budget system and transfer tax revenues to the same levels as well,” the aide said.
“In this case the share of the federal budget will decrease, I think, by about 5 percentage points, which means about half a trillion roubles. These are large amounts, not just some token changes,” Dvorkovich said.
In the his message on the budget policy in 2012-2014, Medvedev said redistribution of budget powers between federal, regional and local authorities would be an important stimulus for economic growth in Russia.
“The questions of achieving sustainable rates of economic growth, economic modernisation and targeted aid to the population cannot be solved without the participation of Russian regions and municipalities,” the president said.
“Regional and local authorities should have more possibilities to influence the investment climate and solve social questions. But they need a strong financial basis for that. Proposals should be drafted by December 1, 2011 on how decentralise the powers, including in the tax and inter-budgetary ones, between the federal, regional and local levels of government,” Medvedev said.