18 January 2010, Monday, 11:54

New tasks before local self-government

author: news-agency "Bashinform" | photo: Andrey Starostin

The seminar for heads of municipal and city districts RB “Efficient local self-government as a factor for further development RB” started working in Ufa today. The President RB Murtaza Rakhimov took the floor before the participants of the seminar with the report. The text of the report is given briefly below:

“Dear participants of the seminar!

We gathered for this traditional seminar at the very beginning of 2010 and this is very serious and substantial moment in our joint work.

This year has in many respects to become the turning point in overcoming of the crisis phenomena and creation of the basics for further social and economic progress. This year is announced the Republic Year when there is a chance to comprehend the way, passed for two decades of the reforms as well as the strategy of our next development.

We managed to reach much thanks to the efficient management system and our goal-oriented public policy. We worked through the perfection of local self-government. High attention is paid to manpower policy and this question has been recently discussed at the last Presidential council. I think the attention to the staff in towns and regions was the most important link in our management strategy.

I‘d like to remind you, that we have a good tradition to hold the August pedagogical gatherings when by the example of several regions our officials can analyze the prospects in development of the Republican education system. For these years the material and technical base of our schools was seriously strengthened.

Same can be said about our medicine. The annual field meetings of the health protection council RB have become an efficient form for discussing the tasks in health protection sphere and the most important instrument for strengthening of the material and technical base of our medical institutions not just in the capital of Bashkortostan but in dozens of Bashkir towns and regions.

As a result for many years we keep the leadership in construction of health protection and education objects as the key direction in Republican social policy.

But among the abovementioned forms of work I’d like to point to one more one – these are the field seminars for heads of Republican municipal administrations, which step-by-step cover the whole territory of our Republic. Preparation for these seminars was always a serious stage in accomplishment of new towns and regions. The heads of our municipalities can become acquainted with all economic zones in the Republic.

It is good that these forms became really traditional. The actuality of these forms becomes even more important in connection with the step-by-step perfection of our local self-government system. But it would be principally wrong to consider that all problems in this sphere are left behind. Moreover, the requirements to development of local self-government system become tougher all the time. I understand that not everything here depends on you because many competences of local self-government aren’t yet backed by enough financial resources but you know quite well that there are the tendencies, completely depending upon your municipalities and these tendencies can’t but trouble us. Is it a secret that the lion’s share of appeals to the leadership of the country comes from municipalities! I’d like to carry back to the recent phrase of the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: “The key essence of local self-government in Russia today is to give people a chance to solve their local problems self-dependently without instructions from above”.

The main questions and often pretensions of the superior bodies fall on execution of the following local self-government’s obligations:

— Provision of primary fire safety measures in municipal settlements;

— Waste and garbage disposal;

— Electric, heat, gas and water supply;

— Road-building and road activity.

The network of roads is considered one of the most important elements for successful functioning of a municipal district. This network directly influences upon stabilization and upsurge of local economics, improvement of population’s living conditions and efficient usage of labor, natural, production and investment resources. Bad condition of the road network is the factor, which hampers development of local economics and the attention to this problem should be permanent. We have to appropriate necessary funds for modernization, reconstruction, technical maintenance and development of the Republican road network.

Underestimation of lawful work also represents one more problem in activity of local self-government bodies. It is clear the majority of the heads of our municipal administrations are people with technical, agricultural, medical and pedagogical education. These people have good practical experience but their juridical platform is often poor and their normative legal acts often conflict with the active legislation, thus violating rights and liberties of our citizens. It is necessary that juridical training would be held at the municipal level too. Besides, I think it is necessary to establish a sort of a public structure, which would help the municipalities in their law-making activity.

Dear friends!

Today it is important that local self-government would be based on stable economics and well-developed modern production of goods and services and here it is done not everything in your power though the leadership of the Republic and our financial bodies come to meet your demands maximally.

Local self-government bodies have to use their territories and property more wisely, strengthening the taxation base and really supporting small and medium business. But in reality our business has to overcome thousands artificial obstacles, knocking numerous permits out and just a few have enough patience and strength to start their own business. In this sphere we bear the maximal losses! The main task for municipalities in this sphere is to protect small and medium business from the unfair competition, strictly observing the anti-monopoly laws and it is necessary to direct initiatives of small and medium business to those spheres of activity, which are considered the most preferable on this or that territory.

We may say that the crisis phenomena become a severe warning that we mustn’t act in the old way. We can’t just hope for the favorable cost of oil barrel together with the whole country! The tasks, which depend upon us, have to be solved precisely and purposefully, in the interests of our population. I am sure that the heads of Republican municipal administrations have to train themselves all the time, stable widening their mental outlook and this circumstance becomes even more urgent because of several reasons. First, the number of new normative documents stably grows up and all these instructions have to be familiar to you and have to be strictly observed. Second, new serious tasks are set before Russian regions and local self-government bodies both in economics and social sphere. Modernization is the key idea of the Message of the President RF.

After the global financial crisis it is impossible to live and develop in the old way and I think the national Russian economics faces great and inevitable changes, which meet the strategic course of the country and we have to take the most active part in this process. The changes already began. The system of public contracts is gradually changing and some big enterprises receive investments for their development. Certain structural and organizational changes are inevitable too.

Not enough informational provision of the local-self-government reform and access of our citizens to information about activity of local self-government bodies represent another hot problem. The information about activity of local self-government bodies has to be open, transparent and available to all. Unfortunately just few municipalities have their own internet sites. Informational technologies have to be introduced to the Russian rural reality in the shortest terms.

And the third point is the usage of the progressive experience, accumulated by Russian regions and this is the most accessible and powerful resource for development. Comprehension, spreading and introduction of the best innovations, of all the best, available in our towns and regions would make it possible to improve the development of production, infrastructure of local economics and execution of various social programs. Just look how highly the efficiency of the “Social Card RB” was appreciated in the country! And this is just one of many projects, developed by us. It is absolutely inadmissible when two neighboring regions, being in approximately equal status, differ in social-economic indices. Thus, the difference in house-building by different Bashkir municipalities made from 210 to 31,9% and by the industrial production index – from 153 to 52,7%!

The level of unemployment varies from 0,65% to 3,38% in our towns and regions under the average all-Republican index 1,91%, i.e. more than five times!

Therefore, organizing our seminars we try to make your indices more even, making interesting beginnings of the best municipalities our common property. I am sure that our seminars have to become the real schools of progressive experience and this still Soviet tradition has to be restored and preserved as well as other useful forms of work.

I wish all of you very productive work during the seminar and thank you for attention”.