In the process of decentralisation, more and more funds remain on the ground, and state support for the infrastructure development in the regions and hromadas is increasing. But the issues identified by the state strategy of regional development should not be left behind, announced Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, during a round table discussion on "State regional policy in Ukraine: current situation, major challenges and legislative regulation", held today in Kaniv.
He noted that, ideally, development projects of hromadas and regions should be coordinated with the regional strategies, and the latter – with the state strategy. But this is not happening yet.
"People on the ground learned how to use state support funds for infrastructure development: schools, kindergartens, healthcare institutions, ASCs, safety centres are renovated and constructed, as well as utility machinery is purchased in hromadas. It is definitely needed. But we must understand that all the money will not be enough if development projects aimed at creating jobs and added value are not implemented. And this still forms difficulties on the ground. Regional development agencies have not yet been established in all oblasts, and those established have not yet become active participants in the formation and implementation of the state regional policy in the oblasts," said the First Deputy Minister.
At the same time, he reminded that there are problematic territories in the country: mountainous, sparsely populated, territories of the demarcation line, etc. "Implementation of development projects of these territories should be undertaken by the state. Consequently, part of the state support funds for the development of regions should be directed at these goals," said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
He also stressed that state support funds for regional development should with no exceptions be distributed transparently, fairly and comprehensively.
In turn, Anatoliy Tkachuk, Director of Science and Development Department of the Civil Society Institute, noted that the funds’ volume of the State Fund for Regional Development should be fixed and amount to not less than 1.5% of the state budget expenditures. "One third of these funds should be directed to solving all-Ukrainian issues – the development of problematic territories," he said.
The event was attended by the representatives of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on State Building, Regional Policy and Local Self-Government, Cherkasy Oblast State Administration, and the experts from the Group of Advisers of the Regional Development in Policy and Action of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme.
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