State Planning Committee of the Ukrainian SSR

State Planning Committee of the Ukrainian SSR (Державний плановий комітет УРСР; Derzhavnyi planovyi komitet URSR, or Держплан УРСР; Derzhplan URSR). A Union-republican economic agency (est 1921) subordinated to both the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR State Planning Committee. Its two chief functions were planning the economy of Ukrainian SSR and monitoring the implementation of the plans.

Its organizational structure consisted of three groups of departments, summary functional, summary resource, and branch. The summary functional departments set one or several plan targets (eg, labor investment) for all branches of the economy. The summary resource departments drafted material balances and plans for the distribution of material inputs and equipment. The branch departments were organized according to either the branch principle (coal, machine building, food) or the sector principle (agriculture, construction). The department heads were members of the committee, and the heads of the biggest departments, along with the committee chairman and deputy chairman, were members of the committee’s collegium. The most important matters were discussed and decided by the collegium.

The Derzhplan drafted economic plans for the republic on the basis of control figures specifying the goals and constraints for a given period. Those figures were set by the USSR Planning Committee after consultations with the republican committees and ministries. The Derzhplan in turn communicated with the relevant ministries or directly with their enterprises and organizations. Its specialists were well acquainted with the methods, capacities, and technology used by the enterprises. Because of the traditional Soviet emphasis on material production, most of the committee staff were engineers and technicians, not economists.

Annual and five-year plans drafted by the Derzhplan were published in dozens of volumes, specifying outputs, investment, wages, employment, consumption, and so forth. Upon approval by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR each plan was submitted to the USSR Planning Committtee, which then drafted the plan for the Soviet economy as a whole. As a result the plan approved for the Ukrainian SSR could differ significantly from what had been proposed by the republic.

Decision-making in the USSR economy was centralized according to the vertical branch principle. The republics had a significant say in planning their social development but not their industrial production. The Derzhplan controlled material and financial flows only for the economic units subordinated to the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR: the enterprises of local industry, agriculture, and forestry, some enterprises of the construction, transportation, and communications industries, trade and public catering, and the ‘nonproductive’ sectors (education, medicine, etc). Enterprises of the oil industry, the gas industry, the chemical industry, and the machine-building industry came only under the Union ministries. Enterprises of the coal industry, the electric power industry, metallurgy, the paper industry, the construction-materials industry, light industry, and the food industry were subordinated to both Union and republican ministries.

The economic restructuring begun in the last few years of the 1980s diminished the role of the Union and republican planning committees. Industrial enterprises became increasingly independent of government control, but at the same time republican governments assumed more and more powers formerly held by the Union authorities.

 (See also Economic planning.)

Fyodor Kushnirsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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