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    Putin: Federation members to have more authority to boost economic growth

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    KALININGRAD, July 2 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin has come out for expanding the authority of federation members as a way of encouraging economic growth and entrepreneurship in the regions. Speaking at a session of the State Council in Kaliningrad today, the president said, "the working group of the State Council has drafted a list of 114 points of authority and deems it important to transfer them to federation members." Putin said the list had already been coordinated with federal executives.

    The president also said the list was not complete yet. "We discussed it with the prime minister and the ministers, and agree with those federation members who come out for extending the list," said Putin.

    According to the president, the federal center will transfer some of its power to the regions, and will closely follow the way it is used. If the result is negative, adequate measures will be taken, and federation members might even be deprived of the authority they misuse, Putin warned.

    Putin said the additional authority delegated to the regions was not a goal in itself or the result of some administrative urge.

    "Our top priority is to encourage economic growth in the regions, to give more room for administrative initiative that would stimulate entrepreneurial freedom and not stifle it," said the president.

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