The Donetsk Oblast is characterised by high activity of local self-government bodies and citizens in the reform of local self-government and territorial organisation of power, in particular in the process of voluntary amalgamation of hromadas, Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services, said in Mariupol during the governmental visit to the Donetsk Oblast.
He noted that financial decentralisation had a positive impact on the region. In 2017, local budget revenues increased by UAH 1.8 billion compared to the same period in 2016 (from UAH 6.8 billion to UAH 8.6 billion). The surplus was over 26%.
“For example, the revenues of the Mariupol budget, the city we are now visiting, amounted to over UAH 2 billion. In 2017 the growth was by UAH 400 million, in comparison with 2016. UAH 6.6 million were allocated to Mariupol from the State Fund for Regional Development, and over UAH 53 million came as subvention funds for social and economic development. These are enormous development resources and new opportunities provided by decentralisation,” informed the First Deputy Minister.
Amalgamated hromadas of the Donetsk Oblast are successfully developing as well. To date, there are 9 of them. Six of these hromadas were formed in 2015-2016, and three – in 2017, therefore, they have switched to direct interbudgetary relations with the state budget only from the beginning of 2018.
According to Vyacheslav Nehoda, own revenues of amalgamated hromadas of the Donetsk Oblast almost doubled in 2017 and amounted to UAH 471.5 million.
The state allocated an appropriate subvention in the amount of UAH 41.8 million for the infrastructure formation in the Donetsk Oblast. At the expense of these funds, the hromadas managed to implement 38 infrastructure projects. To implement development projects, AHs received funds from the State Fund for Regional Development in the amount of UAH 28.9 million (6 projects) and subvention funds for the social and economic development of some territories in the amount of UAH 6.3 million (7 projects).
“Amalgamated hromadas and the Donetsk Oblast in total demonstrate high activity in carrying out qualitative changes today. Today they show an example of cohesiveness and their own work proves that changes are possible.”
Vyacheslav Nehoda also commented on the situation prevailing in five amalgamated hromadas of the Donetsk Oblast, that have been expecting the Central Electoral Commission to decide on the appointment of their first local elections for a long time. According to him, at the legislative level, which is the competence of the Parliament, it is necessary to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
“Almost 700 amalgamated hromadas have already been established in the country, and we see how qualitative changes within hromadas alter the minds of the residents – they become active participants in the hromada life and create their present and future together, they feel responsible for the solutions that are being implemented. Receiving new infrastructure, quality services, new jobs and wider opportunities for self-realisation, people in the hromadas are less frequently looking towards labour emigration, which they previously considered the only way out. Today, the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts especially need to implement the reform. I would say, this is one of the most effective ways to overcome separatist sentiments. We have to comprehensively support decision of people to amalgamate into a hromada, otherwise they will be disappointed with the reform,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
All 9 AHs of the Donetsk Oblast approved local budgets for 2018 in a timely manner – by 25 December 2017, in accordance with the terms determined by the state.
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