Russias regions need greater independence in decision-making on how to spend their budgets, acting Kaliningrad Region Governor Anton Alikhanov told the TASS news agency as part of comments on the results of the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi.
«The vast majority of powers financed by regional budget funds are envisaged by federal laws. At the same time, the region does not have the ability to reduce the scope of these powers, redistribute budget funds for other purposes or introduce criteria for selecting the recipients of budget funds, for example to ensure the principle of targeted social support», Alikhanov said.
«Matters concerning the provision of medicine to the public are fully regulated by federal legislation, from determining the names of diseases for which citizens are granted public social assistance in the form of free medicine to naming the drugs», he said.
The situation is the same with matters concerning the provision of living accommodation for orphans, social payments for certain groups of citizens and registering the non-working population for which health insurance is provided from the funds of the regions, he said.
«The registration of the non-working population for health insurance is fully regulated by the relevant federal law in which the wording creates conditions where Russias regions incur substantial additional expenses for the portion of the population that is not officially employed and evades taxes. So from the standpoint of the federal authorities the non-working population consists of the entire population for which contributions to social funds are not paid», Alikhanov added.