MAYORS TO TAKE PART IN DRAFTING THE STATE BUDGET
The Government and municipal administrations will be jointly specifying their financial relationships in 2003. Regulations for holding consultations between the two parties when drafting the state budget bill were signed by the Finance Minister Milen Velchev and Venelin Ouzounov, Mayor of Razgrad and Chairman of the Management Board of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria.Equal footing between the parties will be a major principle in drafting the State budget in its section concerning the municipalities. Bulgaria is the first country in Eastern Europe to apply this system, which is successfully operating in the other part of the continent, Mr. Velchev said. Under the signed regulations, consultations will be held at two levels - expert and managerial - and representatives of the Government and local administrations will be taking part in each of them. The financial state of the municipalities, the ways for distributing the money in the revenues and expenditures sides of their budgets, and the spending of target subsidies, will be discussed at working meetings. My colleagues from the association and I are convinced that this agreement will help the drafting of the 2003 budget, which will be much better than the 2002 budget, Mr. Ouzounov said.