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Kremlin Links Adoption of Local Self-Government Law to Tax Reform

On initiative of the president, the State Duma second-reading consideration of the draft federal law On the General Principles of Local Self-Government Organisation in the Russian Federation, planned for April 25, has been put off to a later date, a RIA Novosti correspondent quotes the Kremlin administration chief Dmitri Kozak as saying at a press conference on Monday.

The reason is that "the cabinet has failed to take a decision on the tax reform by April 1st," he said. Without the decision, amendments financially backing the delimitation of powers in line with the law on self-government cannot be made in the budget and tax codes, said the Kremlin spokesman.

On April 29th, the Cabinet will outline the budget and tax policy for the next few years, reported Kozak. He voiced hope that first-reading amendments in the tax and budget codes will be adopted before the end of the Duma spring session. Then, the State Duma will be able to pass a package of laws on the delimitation of powers in second reading, he believes. This will happen in June, Kozak hopes.

"The key mechanism of the reform of power is a tough linkage between expense liabilities and income powers between the authorities of all levels," he stressed. "The shifting of public functions from one level to another should be accompanied with money," said Kozak.

He also said that the new edition of the law on self-government was being widely discussed. About 6,000 amendments have arrived to the lower parliamentary chamber by the second reading.