Few anticipated it, however, the amalgamated communities have spent 95% of the government grant for the development of infrastructure in their territories. The reform does work!

The amalgamated territorial communities have proved their ability to independently resolve locally significant issues and their ability to bear responsibility for the decisions made. It was said so by First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Viacheslav Nehoda commenting to journalists on the results of use by the communities of funds of the government grant allocated to them by the state in 2016 for the development of infrastructure.

"We received advance information from the Department of Treasury evidencing that communities had spent 95% of the one billion Hryvnias of the government grant allocated by the state for the development of infrastructure to repair and construct roads, school buildings, kindergartens, health care institutions, for the construction of administrative service centres, sporting facilities, for street lighting, purchase of special-purpose machinery to meet municipal needs, etc. All that means the development of the territories of communities and the creation of a higher quality living environment for each of the community residents, improvement of the service quality. Notwithstanding the fact that sceptics did not believe that the communities would be able to cope with the implementation of projects and application of funds allocated for those projects having no relevant experience. Nevertheless, they did cope with its and proved that they were able to independently conduct the affairs in their territories without instructions from Rayon (District) or Oblast (Regional) level. Hence, the reform of local self-government under the principle of decentralisation of powers and resources proves to be efficient", First Deputy Minister said.

At the same time, the concern is expressed that, as of 1 January 2017, the cash disbursements related to the UAH 102,086.7 thousand government grant allocated for Dnipropetrovsk Oblast as per state budget breakdown totalled UAH 85,812 thousand, or 84%: the Verbkivska community failed to spend approximately UAH 3 million; the Hrushivska community, approximately UAH 2 million; the Nyvotrudivska community, approximately UAH 1.5 million; the Novo-oleksandrivska community, approximately UAH 6 million.

In the Khmelnytskyi region, where, in general, 94% of the government grant have been spent for the development of infrastructure in communities, the Hvardiiska community failed to spend approximately UAH 2.5 million and the Makivska community, approximately UAH 4.5 million.

The Poltava region spent little more than UAH 50 million of the allocated UAH 56,974.2 thousand as per state budget breakdown, or 88%. In this region, the Hlobynska community failed to spend approximately UAH 4.5 million, the Shyshatska community, approximately UAH 1.4 million.

Viacheslav Nehoda emphasised that, notwithstanding anything, the level of spending 95% of the funds allocated as per the said government grant was a positive fact. As a comparison, he noted that regions managed to spend less than 90% of the funds of the State Fund for Regional Development in the amount of UAH 3 billion allocated in the last year. The amalgamated communities proved to be more capable in terms of implementation of the development projects.

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