Romania Table of Contents
The government body constitutionally endowed with supreme authority in administering the PCR's economic program was the Council of Ministers, whose members simultaneously held important positions in the party. The number of ministries fluctuated over the years because of repeated reform efforts to improve efficiency; in 1989, there were twenty-five ministries with a strictly economic mission. Supra-ministerial bodies known as branch coordination councils synchronized the activities of ministries in related sectors, for example, mining, oil, geology, and electric and thermal power; chemicals, petrochemicals, and light industries; machine building and metallurgy; timber, construction materials, cooperatives, and small-scale industry; transportation and telecommunications; investment and construction; and agriculture, food processing and procurement, forestry, and water management. The ministries were responsible for accomplishing the economic goals set forth in the Unitary National Socioeconomic Plan. They assigned production, financial, and operational targets and made investment decisions for the economic entities subordinate to their authority.
The first echelon of administration below the ministries consisted of the industrial centrale (sing., central, see Glossary). The centrale were analogous to the production associations of the Soviet Union and other Comecon countries. Conceived in the economic reforms of 1967 as autonomous economic entities vertically and horizontally integrating several producing enterprises as well as research and development facilities, the first centrale appeared in 1969. Their number rapidly dwindled from the original 207 to only 102 in 1974. Although in theory the centrale were created to decentralize planning, investment, and other forms of economic decision making, their functions were never clearly delineated, and in the 1980s they appeared to have little real autonomy. Their authority was limited to monitoring plan fulfillment and designating production schedules for the plants under their jurisdiction.
At the bottom of the administrative hierarchy were the enterprises and their individual production units. They received highly detailed production plans, operating budgets, and resource allocations from superior echelons and were responsible for accomplishing the economic directives that came down to them through the hierarchy. Notwithstanding official proclamations of enterprise self-management after the New Economic and Financial Mechanism (see Glossary) became law in 1978, the managerial cadres on this level enjoyed autonomy only in the mundane area of streamlining operations to raise output.
State and cooperative farms held a position in the administrative hierarchy analogous to that of industrial enterprises. They received detailed production plans that specified what was to be sown, what inputs would be provided, and how much farm output was to be delivered to the state. After 1980, county ( judet--see Glossary) and village people's councils were responsible for fulfillment of agricultural production targets by the farms in their jurisdiction (see Local Government , ch. 4). Machine stations, analogous to Stalin's machine-and-tractor stations, had been set up to control access to equipment, thereby ensuring compliance with the PCR agricultural program. The manager of each machine station coordinated the work of, on average, five state and cooperative farms. In 1979, the stations became the focal point of a new managerial entity, the agro-industrial councils, which were intended to parallel the industrial centrale (see Farm Organization, this ch.).
In addition to its sectoral administrative structure, the economy was organized on a territorial basis. In every judet, city, town, and commune, so-called people's councils--among their other functions--supervised the implementation of national economic policy by the enterprises and organizations located within their territory. The permanent bureaus of these bodies, without exception, were headed by local party chairmen, whose political credentials were validated by Bucharest. In 1976 a permanent Legislative Chamber of the People's Councils was established. Its membership--elected from the executive committees of the regional and local councils--debated economic bills before they were considered by the GNA.
Data as of July 1989
Romania Table of Contents