More power to the regions
Regional governments need to transfer some Federal powers and to abolish the authorities that duplicate the regional to the Federal level. Such offer contains in the project of “Report on the status and main directions of improvement of the Russian legislation in the sphere of state regional policy” (have). The document will be discussed at the security Council meeting, which will be held until April 30. The collection of materials for this report were engaged by the Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko.
You need to eliminate the duplication of “administrative, licensing, control and Supervisory powers” of the Federal, regional and municipal authorities, the report said. “It is, for example, about the improvement of the [cities], which is now resolved at the Federal level, and should be resolved at the municipal” — said a member of the Federation Council Committee on Federal structure and regional policy Stepan Kirichuk.
Also, according to him, it’s about the separation of the functions of Federal agencies — the forest service and the CPS. “It is clear that control over the use of local forestry or, for example, improving markets to better implement as a minimum the participation of regional authorities”, — said Kirichuk.
The document also States that the government must report on transfer of powers of the Federal bodies of Executive power at the regional level, which began in December of 2016. The report States that regional authorities need to transfer part of functions of the Federal property Agency, Roszdravnadzor, Rostekhnadzor, the Federal alcohol market regulatory service, Treasury of Russia, Rosprirodnadzor, Rosselkhoznadzor, and the Federal Agency for fishery.
In the development of the report was attended by parliamentarians, representatives of the audit chamber and regional authorities, and outside experts. In the working version of the document before the meeting in the security Council to include proposals from the regions, “but they are usually accounted for 20%,” said a source in SF. After discussion in the security Council a revised version of the document will be sent to the government and the presidential administration, and it will be the basis for the new legislation, told the Federation Council.
The document consists of four sections — assessment of the quality of life in the regions, local government development, improve the financial sustainability of the subjects of the state and new factors of economic regional development. “The last time such a large-scale document was prepared after the annexation of the Crimea”, — said the source in SF.
Not a new topic
Discussion about the redistribution of powers between the Federal center and regions is a long time. A year and a half ago, the President ordered work on the theme of the Commission Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, said in a conversation with a colleague of Kirichuk on the Committee of the Federation Council Sergey Katanandov.
“Today, the regions have accumulated large debts, including to banks, and they are not able to serve them. One of the reasons debt — unconfirmed financial powers of the centre, which over the last five to seven years have been transferred to the regions”, — said the Senator. According to Katanandov, the document would include proposals for the transfer of powers to the regions and Federal districts. “Especially if the regions are not able to solve their financial problems,” he added.
“It is unacceptable empowering the authorities with additional powers without specifying their sources of financing”, — the document says. According to political scientist Andrei Kolyadina, this is discussed regularly, but a common solution to this problem yet. “The transfer of authority in itself without Finance is a completely pointless thing, he said . — Remember the story about the bell, which is [President Vladimir] Putin in 2010, sent to the region where she had no money? So, the fire powers of the Tver region has not allocated”.
According to the analyst, the transfer of authority from the center to the regions will inevitably lead to increasing differences in social and economic indicators. “To do it right, we need super-efficient heads of the regions, but where to get them? Without them, this partial transfer of authority will turn to mush, and the regions will be stratified according to welfare,” he said.
A single rating of governors
The authors of the report proposed to revise the assessment of the effectiveness of regional bodies of Executive power “given current economic realities.” The work of heads of regions are invited to assess, given the economic and social development outcomes in the region.
The current scheme of the evaluation to the Governor, “opaque, often inaccessible and incomprehensible to citizens,” according to the document. To solve this problem, you need to identify specific indicators of socio-economic development of subjects of Federation. For governors that do not provide such indicators, the authors of the report proposed to introduce penalties.
The results of the evaluation of the effectiveness of work of regional Executive authorities, can be placed on the official website of the Ministry of economic development and the state automated system “Management”, according to the document.
To make a single rating of heads of regions it is necessary at least to determine the “mechanism of adjustment of regions with different potential of Yamal — Nenets Autonomous district and Tyva, for example,” — said in a commentary co-author of the ranking of survival of governors Mikhail Vinogradov. According to him, the cost of such a product can be very significant, and there is a risk that his training will take a long time, “and six months later, this rating has little to show”. According to the analyst, such work was justified, the preparation of rating you need to clearly define its purpose.
According to political analyst Gleb Kuznetsov, the creation of such a rating “very difficult”. “It is difficult to imagine on what basis you can compare the Governor of the Jewish Autonomous region and the mayor of Moscow, — he said . — But if such a rating with a large number of parameters, which will allow you to compare them, is created, it will be a very big help to all.”
It is necessary to reduce the difference in the standard of living in different regions, according to the report. For this, the authors propose to introduce a “standard of well-being” — the General criterion of assessment of quality of life. Its criteria should become a living wage in each of the regions, the minimum wage (SMIC), the minimum pension, and the Federal standards of services including medical, educational, and housing.
The idea of assessing the standard of living is not new, but it “has never so vividly,” as in this report, had been formulated, said the head of the centre of Federal relations, Institute of Economics, RAS Sergey Valentey. “When we are not talking about our General standard of living, and the standard for each region, it is definitely revolutionary,” said he.
“The standard of well-being” I propose to assess in numbers. “Our goal is to achieve similar assessments of quality of life in all regions, — said Kirichuk. — Of course, given, say, climatic and professional conditions: it is clear that one and the same work in different climates is paid in different ways and levels of professionalism affect a pension and a salary.”
At the same time it is noted that the share of social expenditures of regional budgets increased from 39% in 2000 to 61.2% in 2016. To solve this problem and achieve the “standard of well-being,” the authors of the document suggest a number of measures, in particular to provide for the increase of budget credits for regions in 2019 and 2020, to reduce interest rates by region and secure funding for regional projects and programs from banks and companies.
The programme of devolution
In 2015, ten regions, including Tula, Tambov regions, Moscow and Tatarstan, took part in a pilot project for the transfer of powers from the Federal center. Thereafter, then-Governor of Tula region Vladimir Gruzdev said that the region did not have enough money to implement all the powers.
The process of transfer of powers from the Federal center to the regions during his second presidential term in 2005, Vladimir Putin.
According to Valentia, now the regions have authority 108 184-FZ, 59, was taken not under this law, 20 competencies were transferred to regions according to presidential decrees,162 — according to the government resolutions and 118 in connection with the transfer of powers to local authorities (total 467). “But during the government hour and 15 June 2016 Dmitry Kozak said that our regions 620 powers. This means that we don’t know exactly how much power transferred to the regions,” he said.