Budget Law

Budget Law

 

the set of legal norms that determine the budget setup of a country and regulate social relationships in the formation and use of national monetary resources. Soviet budget law—one of the most important institutions of financial law—does not regulate all relationships concerning the state budget but only organizational-financial relationships that are established primarily among various state bodies. Because the state budget of the USSR includes the budget of state social insurance, which is drawn up by the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions and executed by trade union bodies, Soviet budget law also regulates the relationships between state bodies and trade union bodies involved with this budget.

The norms of Soviet budget law are divided into material and procedural. The former include the norms that determine budget setup (various types of budgets, the relationship among them, and the principles of the formation of their revenue); the budget powers of the USSR, the Union and autonomous republics, and administrative-territorial units; and the norms that determine the composition of revenue and the direction of expenditures from the state budget of the USSR, their distribution among different elements of the budgetary system, and the order of their allocation to particular budgets. The procedural norms regulate the drawing up, examination, ratification, and execution of the state budget of the USSR and the reports on its execution.

A very important feature of the Soviet budgetary setup is the uniformity of the budget system, which means that the union, republic, and local budgets do not exist in isolation but rather are amalgamated into a single USSR state budget. Only the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is given the right to set the taxes and revenue that are received to form the union, republic, and local budgets. Part of the revenue of republic and local budgets is covered by the revenue from the sources assigned to them and part is received by them through deductions from all-Union state taxes and revenue, established each year during ratification of the higher-ranking budget. Ratification of budgets goes as follows: first, the state budget of the USSR is ratified, and then on the basis of it the state budgets of the Union republics are ratified; on the basis of these the state budgets of the autonomous republics and local budgets are ratified. During ratification of each higher-ranking budget, the overall sums of revenue and expenditures for lower-ranking budgets are established. Such financial centralization gives the budget system and financial policy of the Soviet state a uniformity and ensures financing for measures envisioned by the state plan for the economic development of the USSR economy and also for measures of all-Union or republic significance, with participation by Union and autonomous republics and administrative-territorial units in carrying out these measures. The uniformity of the budget system offers the possibility of redistributing part of national income and financial resources among Union and autonomous republics, economic regions, and administrative-territorial units. In the USSR budgetary centralization is combined with extensive independence for the republics and administrative-territorial units; each Union and autonomous republic and each local soviet (krai, oblast, okrug, city, raion, settlement, and rural area) has the right to its own budget, the size of which is determined during the ratification of the higher-ranking budget and finally approved by the supreme soviet of the appropriate republic or the higher-ranking local soviet. When ratifying the budgets of lower-ranking soviets, these bodies may increase the total sum of revenue and expenditures fixed for the republic or administrative-territorial unit during the ratification in the higher-ranking budget. A draft of the budget is drawn up by the executive and administrative bodies of the soviets which have the right to ratify the budget. Budget initiative, that is, the right to introduce a draft for consideration and ratification by a soviet, belongs accordingly to the government of the Union (or autonomous) republic or executive committee of the local soviet. The Law on the State Budget of the USSR and the decision of a local soviet on the budget are published for general information.

The primary sources of existing budget law are the law On the Budget Powers of the USSR and the Union Republics (Oct. 30, 1959) and the laws adopted in all Union and autonomous republics on the budget rights of republics and local soviets.

M. I. PISKOTIN

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