Privatization of the assets of the state automobile road agency (Ukravtodor) should take place in 2016. Roman Khmil, the adviser to the Minister of Infrastructure who will head the Ministry of Infrastructure’s department of motor transport and strategic development of roads after the relevant background checks, announced this in an interview with the LigaBusinessInform publication.
"Formally, the start date of the reform will be 1 January 2016 because it is necessary to amend the budget of Ukraine. However, we want to resolve all the legal issues before the end of this year. Maybe will have sufficient time to transfer regional road agencies to local authorities this year. Then, we will privatize all the assets during 2016," said Khmil.
According to him, the main leitmotif of reform of the Ukrainian road sector is relinquishing the functions of road construction and regulation the quality of road construction work, leaving Ukravtodor to only place orders for projects.
Khmil said that district road agencies, equipment, etc. - a total of about 630 companies - would go to new owners in the course of the privatization. However, roads themselves will remain of municipally or state owned.
According to the ministerial adviser, the experience of Poland in the area of road reforms is the best suited to Ukraine, although Poland’s good results were largely made possible by support from the European Union, which has invested about EUR 80 billion over the past 10 years.
Khmil also said that the very change of relations in the road sector will require a relatively small investment, but huge funds are needed for construction work. "To change the system, a lot of money is not needed - up to USD 10 million. The bulk of the funding is needed for repair of roads. Between UAH 500 billion and UAH 1 trillion and 10 years are needed to repair 50,000 kilometers of state roads," Khmil said.
Khmil comes from the Ukrainian IT sector. He is a co-founder of the Global Logic company, which is well known on the market, and he also headed the Ukrainian office of the Danish outsourcing company Ciklum. Last year, Khmil launched the MyRoad social initiative, which is a project for road sector reform in which motorists draft recommendations and try to influence the state agencies involved in this sector. Infrastructure Minister Andrii Pyvovarskyi invited Khmil to head the Infrastructure Ministry’s department of motor transport and strategic development of roads.