ABSTRACT

The Sovnarkhoz reform targeted the problem of unbalanced planning that had been broadly discussed in 1956 and was supposed to resolve the inapplicability of plans. According to the economic journal Planovoe khozyaistvo , shortcomings in planning were supposed to be eliminated by reinforcing planning and increasing the role of USSR Gosplan. 1 USSR Gosplan, in charge of both perspective and current planning after the abolition of Gosekonomkomissiya , 2 would concentrate on ensuring the proportional development of the industrial branches, republics and economic regions and on planning production investment. It should communicate its decisions on the most rational economic relations, specialization, cooperation and investments, only through these plans. 3 At the same time, it was up to the republics and sovnarkhozy to propose the best utilization of local resources and the specialization of the regions, as well as pointing to the economic, geographical and cultural peculiarities of each republic or region. 4 In response to republican demands from previous years, volume targets for industrial production, wages and cost price would now be assigned to each republic without specifying separate targets for each industrial branch. The targets for gross output and commercial production would also be assigned to the republics in total. It was now the responsibility of the republican CM to assign the targets to the sovnarkhozy and oblispolkomy for local industry. 5

The transfer of most current and perspective planning to the republics inevitably promoted republic Gosplans to a key position in the Soviet economic administration. Before the reform Ukraine fully planned only one-tenth of its own production; now it had to plan more than 96 per cent of the republic’s gross output. 6 Before the reform Gosplan of Ukraine distributed funded materials for only a limited number of Ukrainian ministries and departments. Now it was in charge of supplying practically the entire republican economy.