• Settlement of other issues, not included in the competence of local administrations, municipalities, government bodies, but not excluded from the competence of the relevant structures by Federal law and the laws of the Subjects of the Federation.
There compiled a list of issues, related to the competence of each municipality, which are not related to the local issues, but can be resolved by the local authorities. At first sight, those issues belong to the nontransferred federal powers, which can be resolved by local authorities. However, a detailed analysis of the list makes it doubtful, if all of those issues can be related to that category. Thus, according to the effective version of the law 131-FZ, municipal structures of different types have the right to create local museums.
Herewith, museums’ creation is not included in the list of issues of local significance, and it is unclear, to what category the issue should be related. The new legislation does not include this issue in the category of local significance, but provides the right to solve it on the local level. However, by its contents the issue could rather be regarded as the issue of local significance, which is not obligatory for municipal authorities.
A number of other issues in the list can be considered in a similar way. Therefore, in the process of development of delineation of powers, grounds are provided for gradation between obligatory and optional approaches to the issues of local significance, which is common practice in a number of other countries.
Let us consider the list of issues, which are included in the competence of municipal structure of various types, in detail. In the context of competence of communities, one should note, that those issues include financing and co-financing of dwellings’ renovation, which were in municipal ownership before March 1, 2005. The fact that this issue is included in the list of responsibilities of local authorities, reflects the disputes, started upon adoption of the new Residential Code, about delineation of responsibilities for financing of houses’ renovation between their owners and local authorities. The definition is not quite correct; by March 2005 the majority of apartments in residential houses were in private ownership, i.e., they were not municipal property. Only some apartments in dwelling hoses still belonged to the municipalities. Therefore, actual responsibilities in terms of local authorities’ participation in financing of basic renovation are still not clearly defined.
A great positive importance has a recognition of the rights of the local communities to perform notary functions in case of absence of a notary in the community, as in many cases this service was unavailable to the community members. Now it is envisaged by the federal law, that the head of the local administration authority has the right to perform the following notary services:
• Certify the wills;
• Certify the powers of attorney;
• Take measures for protection of inherited property and management thereof in case of necessity;
• Certify the identity of the documents' copies and abstracts thereof;
• Certify signatures on documents.
The legislation of the RF Subject can extend the above list.
In the new legislation, a tendency is maintained to duplicate the competences of communities and municipal regions, especially in the spheres, not included in the issues of local significance. Both, municipal authorities and communities, have the right to:
• Participate in organization and financing of community services in the local territory;
• Create conditions for activities, related to the performance of the rights of local national and cultural autonomies on the local territory;
• Assist to the socio-economic development of the peoples of the Russian Federation in terms of measures of international relations in the local territory.
However, it is evident that the duplication of functions in the above spheres does not have such as a negative impact as the duplication of the issues of local significance. The problems of delineation of powers can occur in cases, when local authorities, municipal bodies and community authorities would want to use their rights to settle the issue.
The new legislation has envisaged, that in regard to the issues beyond the local significance, the competence of the city regional authorities does not comprise the powers of municipal regions and communities. Thus, the city regional authorities are provided the right to create municipal education organizations of higher professional level, which is outside of both, municipal regions and community powers22.
As to the changes to the issues of local significance, the Legislator has resumed the tendency to exclude social issues from the competence local self-governance authorities. The issues of assistance in establishment of guardianship, assessment of the amount of payments for housing utilities, as well as provision of subsidies are excluded from responsibilities of the local authorities. The latter issue was included in their responsibilities only a year ago. Such inconsistency in the actions of the Legislator, without doubt, complicates the work of local municipalities. As to the municipalities, the issue of establishment of guardianship is excluded form their competence. Those issues in comprehensive terms are excluded accordingly from the competence of city regional authorities. Those issues are related to the competence of the subjects of the Federation. Herewith, participation in the activities on establishment of guardianship and support thereof are included in the list of issues of non-local significance, which are supposed to be settled at the local level (by local self-governance and municipalities of all types).
Such amendments can hardly be regarded as positive ones. It is doubtful, that the separation from the nearest public authorities such important and delicate social and family issues as establishment of guardianship, which demand a detailed review of the family situation, will negatively affect the situation. In terms of establishment of the amount and procedure of subsidies, it is also significant to take into regard the local conditions and budget capacity, which is hardly to be achieved under the new system of delineation of powers.
The list of issues of local significance is replenished with the terms of voluntary formations for maintenance of public order, formation and maintenance of libraries.
Unfortunately, the new legal provisions have not excluded inconsistencies, characteristic to the former documents of similar type. The new powers of local authorities, envisaged by the amendments to the local legislation, have been reflected to some extent in the Law 131-FZ and are inconsistent with the legislation under review in terms of competence of municipal authorities of local significance. The amendments made to the RF Law on health care are an expressed example of such inconsistency.
I.V.Starodubrovskaya, N.I.Mironova As it is, the above right was provided by the amendments to the Law on Education, introduced by the Law 199-FZ as of 31.12.2005. By the Law under consideration the amendments were included also in the Law 131-FZ «On General Principals of Local Self-Governance in the RF».
Issues discussed at the RF Government meetings of November 7, 14 and 21, The improvement of the mechanisms of the formation and implementation of the most important national innovation projects, draft Law “On the Bank of Development”, the progress of the reform of power in Russia, the issues of implementation of the Program of Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation for a mid-term perspective (2006-2008), amendments to the draft Federal Law “On Currency Regulation and Control”.
At the 7 December meeting of the Federal Government a draft Regulation on amendments and recognition as void of certain resolutions of the RF Government on licensing of some types of activity was discussed.
At the 14 December meeting a draft Federal law “On the Bank of Development” was discussed. This Bank of Development is supposed to encourage the economic growth of the Russian Federation to stimulate investments, the development of operational and financial infrastructures, ensure support of the investment activity, exportation of Russian goods, works and services as well as small and mid-size businesses. The principal features of the Bank of Development are: it is a non-commercial entity (the form of incorporation will be public corporation) that will not finance those projects that are able to raise sufficient and acceptable funding at the market – this is a “no competition principle” with private financial institutions.
The draft Federal Law “On the Bank of Development” was approved; the Government decided to submit the bill to the State Duma for consideration.
At the meeting Minister of Industry and Energy of the Russian Federation reported to the Government the results of development of the electric power sector reform. It was stated in the report that the reform of regional joint stock companies for energy and electrification, the transition to the new rules of work at the wholesale and retail markets of the electric power had been completed, and the energy companies continued to be set up. Besides, the plans of further reforming of electric power industry in the areas of generation, network facilities, on-line and dispatcher control, and development of the legal and normative framework were presented.
At the 21 December meeting the report of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade of the RF was delivered: “On the Preliminary Progress Results of the Action Plan of the RF Government on the Implementation in 2006 of the Basic Provisions of the Program of Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation for a Mid-Term Perspective (2006-2008)” and a Draft Action Plan of the RF Government for its Implementation in 2007. The Federal Executive Authorities need to ensure the implementation, as soon as possible, of the RF Government Action Plan to implement in 2006 the Provisions of the Program of Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation for a Mid-Term Perspective (2006-2008), including:
• improvement of the pension system;
• higher efficiency of the labor remuneration system in the budget sphere;
• improvement of the mandatory medical insurance system;
• establishment of the rules of regulating tariffs for community facilities and establishment of monitoring and control over price changes for these services;
• improvement of VAT administration;
• development of financial markets and banking sector, etc.
The Draft Action Plan of the RF Government for Implementation in 2007 of the Provisions of the Program of Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation for a Mid-Term Perspective (2006-2008) was also approved.
The Government considered at the meeting amendments in the draft Federal Law “On Currency Regulation and Control”. The Draft Law relieves foreign entities from the obligation to provide to the tax authorities reports on account moves in the banks located outside the territory of the Russian Federation. This draft Law was approved and passed to the State Duma for further approval.
V. P. Goldin Review of Budget Legislation: December In September the following amendments were introduced in the effective legislation: amendments are made to Chapter 23 in regard to tax exemption of the income of physical persons, namely maternity (family) capital; there adopted the fourth Part of the RF Civil Code; The RF central Bank has determined basic principles of monetary and credit policy for 2007; the RF Ministry of Finance has adopted the deflator index rate for 2006 and 2007; indicators are established for mineral tax calculation for oil for November 2006.
I. FEDERAL LAWS OF THE Russian federation 1. «On Amendments to Chapter 23, Part II of the RF Tax Code as of 05.12.2006 № 208-FZ Comes into force as of 01.01.2007, but no earlier than before expiration of one month upon official publication.
By the amendments, made to Chapter 23 “Income Tax of Physical Persons”, Part II of the RF Tax Code, there introduced an exemption from income tax of physical persons in regard to maternity (family) capital, allocated for the support of special measures, taken in the framework of the government program of assistance to families with children. It is also specified that social and property deductions from income tax of physical persons are not applicable in case maternity (family) capital is addressed to payment for education, residential construction or dwellings acquisition.
2. «CIVIL CODE of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION (PART FOUR)» № 230-FZ as of 18.12.The fourth Part of the RF Civil Code consolidates all regulations in regard to objects of intellectual property: works of science, discoveries, selection achievements, sound tracks, works of literature, arts; computer programs, data bases, simulation models, etc. The above Article of the RF Civil Code consists of one section VII “Rights for intellectual activity results and individualization means”. The Article of the RF Civil Code comprises both, effective provisions in the sphere of intellectual property and the new ones.
There is a new provision entered in the effective legislation, the “know-how”, which is understood as information of any kind (manufacturing, technical, economical, logistics and other), including intellectual activities in technical and scientific sphere, as well as the information on the methods of professional activities, which provide an actually effective or potential commercial value due to unavailability to the third parties, who have no legal access to it and in regard to whom the procedure of restricted access to commercial information is applicable. The owner of restricted commercial information has an exclusive right for the usage thereof. The specifics of an Agreement are defined on the restrictions in privacy of production and relevant license agreements, as well as terms of employer-employee relationship in the production process in the framework of information security.
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