Vladimir Putin on problems of local government

Vladimir Putin believes it necessary "to legally rule out a possibility of delegating responsibilities to the federation's constituent members and local governments without securing financing." When speaking at a State Council meeting in the Kremlin, where the participants discussed local government issues, the President stressed that the standards of tax and budget deductions were changing every year, which resulted "in the local governments' fading interest to increase their returns".

Putin called this issue "crucial" and urged to discuss it today in detail.

The President also urged to specify a list of "local" issues. Many of them "have a vague wording and, therefore, intersect with the state bodies' tasks", he stated.

"Today lack of clarity in this issue leads to the government's irresponsibility before people and makes it impossible to distribute public finance reasonably, which gives rise to serious problems in the people's social support sector," Putin stated.

The government's proposal to transfer all regional and local budgets' cash servicing to the federal treasury is also worth discussing, the President said.

Putin also pointed to the fact that reforms in the housing and communal services, land relations and principles of natural monopolies' activity would primarily affect the municipal economy, because this sector resolved the most serious problems of supplying people with energy.

"In this context we must bring municipalities' structures and budget possibilities in line with the volume of the current tasks," the President stated.

He also stressed the necessity to upgrade the structure of the local governments. Structural reforms are not only necessary to secure constitutional principles of the public authority's organization in Russia, but also to make the local authority less bureaucratic as well as "less costly and open to people".

Putin called on those present to be highly serious in discussing this issue.

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