Including cities of oblast significance in amalgamation process, we will have around 1400 perspective AHs
The decentralisation reform, which has been implemented in Ukraine for four years, shows successful results. It's about quantitative and qualitative indicators. 753 AHs have already been formed, of which 665 work in active budget relations with the central government. Besides, it is about opportunities and powers transferred to the ground, that enable to collect taxes, formulate development strategies, define priorities, attract investments and change living standards of ordinary Ukrainians in hromadas.
This idea was shared by Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, in the “Ekonomichnyi Proryv” (“Economic Breakthrough”) programme with Pavlo Sheremeta on “NV” radio station.
“The process of hromadas’ amalgamation is voluntary and we cannot predict their number at present, but we are planning this process. Prior to the beginning of decentralisation in Ukraine there were almost 12 thousand hromadas, that differed both in their territory and in population. At present, 1206 perspective plans of AHs, amalgamating 7913 hromadas, have been formed and approved by the Government. This is not the whole territory of Ukraine, but after the cities of oblast significance join the amalgamation process, we will have up to 1400 formed AHs,” emphasised Hennadii Zubko.
According to the official, the amalgamation gives hromadas the opportunity to increase their revenues by 5-7-10 times due to creation of their own tax base on the ground. “Amalgamated hromadas start to manage tax revenues, and most importantly, they have the opportunity to establish a tax on real estate, land, carry out inventory of resources and get inflows of PIT, excise tax, etc. Speaking in figures: in 2014 the revenues of local budgets totaled UAH 67 billion, in 2015 – UAH 99 billion, in 2016 – UAH 146 billion, in 2017 – UAH 192 billion. At the end of this year, we expect the growth of up to UAH 230 billion,” Hennadii Zubko said.
The Vice Prime Minister noted that the main thing for the Ukrainians and the country that leaves the post-Soviet past is the understanding that the management system changes at the state level. “For 25 years, Ukraine remained in the post-Soviet system, which had a centralised vertical structure and huge corruption risks. Today we have the anticorruption infrastructure established – NABU, NAPC, Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, the Anti-Corruption Court, but the most powerful step in this area was made in 2015, when we transferred 52% of the state consolidated budget to the ground. And today it is under the control of directly hromadas and citizens. Together with hromadas we must continue working over the efficient use of these budget funds,” the official said.
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