Working groups to study power distribution proposals July 7.

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MOSCOW, July 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Two high-level working groups that should draft proposals on decentralisation of administrative functions and distribution of powers between different levels of government will hold their first joint meeting on Thursday, July 7.

President Dmitry Medvedev earlier signed an executive order on the drafting of suggestions regarding redistribution of powers between federal executive bodies, regional executive bodies, and local authorities.

With a view to broadening the powers of the regional and local authorities, the president ordered the creation of a working group on legal issues, to be headed by Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, and a working group on financial and tax issues and inter-budgetary relations, to be headed by Vice Prime Minister and presidential representative to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin.

The heads of the working groups were instructed to submit to the president their preliminary reports containing the main principles of redistribution of powers by September 15, and the final reports by December 1.

Medvedev believes that these are “long-awaited changes” and the drafting new approaches to running the country is “a creative task the resolution of which will ultimately be crucial for the success of the policy pursued by the president and the government, social guarantees in regions, and the social welfare of people”.

The president said he was expecting relevant proposals and a look at the problem “from different angles” from the working groups.

“I chose a pattern involving two vice-prime ministers doing this intentionally. I understand that the financing of functions and legal support overlap. But I would like you to look at these problems from different angles,” Medvedev said Khloponin and Kozak on Wednesday, July 6.

“Eventually only one decision will have to be made, but I want a dispute on some approaches,” he added.

The president said he would watch the work and meet with the vice-prime ministers and governors on a regular basis.

According to Kozak, the working groups include officials from federal governmental agencies, regions and municipalities. A coordinating body will be set up to ensure interaction between the two working groups that will meet approximately once a month.

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