Medium-term planning, both at the central and local level, should become a new priority and the basis for a new stage of decentralization reform in Ukraine. This was stated by Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman during the extended Government meeting "Decentralization and Regional Development".
The Head of Government reminded that the decentralization reform had started in April 2014. At that time a few could realize the target of the reform. However, transformations have begun. And if Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea had the decentralization potential of now, then the situation in the country would be different, assures the Head of Government.
"If Donetsk, Crimea and Luhansk being under occupation nowadays had opportunities, they would flourish, they would have the resources to give a new quality life to the citizens", stressed Volodymyr Groysman. "Instead, today we shouldn’t boast of what we have already obtained. Today we have to sum up and outline the agenda for a new period. And here the issue of medium-term planning should become a priority - both in budgetary policy and in the policy of regional development".
The Head of Government emphasized that local budget revenues had grown by over UAH 100 billion due to decentralization. Meanwhile, the State, as a tool to support the regions, directs over UAH 30 billion under different programs to various areas. But since the key task is to develop the economy, we should talk about how to increase these revenues. "The sum worth UAH 100 billion must become UAH 200 billion, and this resource should be used to create new jobs, raise the standard of living of citizens. And here the topmost issues are the wage, the pension, to which polyclinic you come and which school or kindergarten our children attend. This is our objective", urged Volodymyr Groysman.
He stressed that the new standards mean an update of the education, healthcare, infrastructure, overcoming the infrastructure and digital divide in Ukraine. "The time has come to determine concrete priorities and improve the quality of lives of citizens", the Head of Government added, "It's easy to go out and say this or that reform is bad. It is very difficult to assume responsibility and bring about changes."
The Prime Minister stressed that it is timely to shape the State development strategy while the Government sets the principal directions of work. "We will invest in education, healthcare, youth and children", stressed Volodymyr Groysman. "One can take the resource and spend it to achieve populist goals. But this is not our way. It is crucial for us to continue to do our job, which will access Ukrainian citizens".