The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has started a meeting of the Advisory Council on local self-government, which is attended by the chairman of the Kharkiv Regional Council Artur Tovmasian.

The agenda: "On improving the legislative regulation of conditions for the financial independence of local government budgets and the ability of territorial communities".

Heads of relevant committees of the Parliament and representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, as well as heads of national associations of local self-government bodies should make information and suggestions.

Opening the meeting, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Dmytro Razumkov expressed confidence that, despite different approaches to certain issues, it is possible to find a compromise and work fruitfully in favor of the state. "Much has been done, and the Decentralization Reform continues. Only together we will be able to achieve the tasks that are set for us. Today you have more opportunities thanks to the Decentralization Reform. And on the other hand, so much is in your area of responsibility," the head of the Parliament said addressing the representatives of the regions.

Dmytro Razumkov also noted that for the Verkhovna Rada, the task is to bring the Decentralization Reform to completion through the adoption of amendments to the Constitution in terms of local self-government.

A number of factors make the issue on the agenda acutely relevant in the context of regional development and a new stage of decentralization, Artur Tovmasian believes. "The discrepancy between the revenues of district budgets and the scope of powers, own and delegated, defined by law still remains the problem. The corresponding expenditures are often several times higher than the revenues of district budgets. In addition, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed weaknesses in budget relations, in particular, a high level of dependence on the central government in the public sector. Estimated losses of own revenues of the general fund of local budgets in 2020 as a result of the pandemic amounted to UAH 28.3 billion. Therefore, I believe that holding a meeting of the Advisory Council on local self-government with today's agenda is relevant. We should agree on legislative proposals to resolve the most pressing issues of budgeting in the regions and communities," Artur Tovmasian said.

Together with the Chairman of the Regional Council, Kharkiv region is represented at the meeting of the Advisory Council by Deputy of the Regional Council, president of the Ukrainian Association of district and regional councils Sergii Chernov, Liziva mayor Serhii Zelenskyi, Merefa mayor Veniamin Sitov.

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