A working meeting with the Association of Ukrainian Cities took place. This was announced by Oleksandr Kubrakov, Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine and Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development.
“This is the second meeting with an association of local self-government this year. At the beginning of the week we had a meeting with the All-Ukrainian Association of Communities,” said Oleksandr Kubrakov. “Today we are focusing on the challenges of ensuring access to basic services for the population, initiatives for the country’s economic recovery, city projects with international financial organisations, continuation of decentralisation and regional policy reform.
Reform of local self-government and regional policy
Over the past year, the Ministry’s team has focused its efforts on three areas designed to strengthen the reforms – updating the State Strategy for Regional Development, the Roadmap for Decentralisation Reform and launching digital solutions that will ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency of recovery and investment at both the local and national levels.
I am grateful to the Association of Ukrainian Cities for its ongoing involvement in the development of these solutions. In 2024, we need to fill these initiatives with practical results: communities should join the DREAM system not because it is mandatory by law, but because it is convenient and effective; laws that deepen the decentralisation reform should be adopted now because we all need uniform, clear and impartial rules.
One of the most important draft laws that directly affects Ukraine’s economic development is the improvement of seaport infrastructure through the introduction of an effective and transparent mechanism for the allocation of water fund land. I am grateful to the Association for its readiness to work on a legislative initiative that will simplify investment in these areas and secure the right of communities to allocate land for the development of port infrastructure.
Reimbursement of debts from the difference in tariffs
The country has passed the halfway point of the heating season, and almost 100% of residential buildings, educational and healthcare facilities in the government-controlled areas have heat.
However, we still have significant debts from both the population and, accordingly, from the heating companies. We are working together to resolve the problem by law, and this is draft law No. 10383, which was first authored by Olena Shulyak.
The draft law provides for compensation for services subject to a moratorium on tariff increases. Debts to heat suppliers are the biggest problem, and the state budget under martial law, unfortunately, cannot cover debts for other services, including water supply.
According to the draft law, the amount of the subvention does not depend on the amount of debt for gas consumed, but rather on the difference between the tariffs paid by consumers and the costs incurred by enterprises for heat production and supply. The subvention can be used to pay off debts for natural gas consumed.
We discussed the possibilities of improving the Ministry’s cooperation with local governments to provide citizens with compensation under the eVidnovlennia initiative more quickly. We are talking about urgent and capital reforms, compensation for completely destroyed housing in the government-controlled and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
At the same time, the issues of providing housing for internally displaced persons who cannot confirm the destruction of their homes and social housing projects for veterans remain urgent.
Dialogue on the basis of mutual respect should be the basis of interaction between the executive and local governments. I am grateful to my colleagues for their practical questions and constructive feedback.”