Government is gearing up honest and realistic draft 2017 State Budget with clearly defined priorities in it and plans to submit it to Parliament without delay

MIL OSI – Source: Government of Ukraine – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Government is gearing up honest and realistic draft 2017 State Budget with clearly defined priorities in it and plans to submit it to Parliament without delay

The Cabinet
of Ministers of Ukraine is engaged into preparation of an honest, realistic
draft State Budget for 2017 and plans to submit it to the Verkhovna
Rada without any delay. Among the priorities which
are included in the budget structure are the national defense and security, the
restoration of the Ukrainian road network, a decentralization reform, energy
efficiency, agriculture, the promotion of Ukraine’s
interests at the international arena, social sphere and education.

“I
believe that it is our duty to submit the Ukrainian budget for 2017 in
September to the Parliament. But to make it absolutely fair”, said Prime
Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman while opening the Government meeting on
Wednesday.

“Many
years of our independence, when a false and unfair budget did not ensure the
development of our state, and especially stabilization: inflated revenues that in
fact didnt exist, but they were just planned in paper that they would be
earned, inflated expenses that caused the economic slump. And this path was
leading to the impoverishment of the Ukrainian people”, he explained.

The Prime
Minister announced that the Governments task is to submit to the Parliament
“an absolutely honest budget,” to trigger a professional discussion there
and reach a consolidated decision.

The Government
will build the state budget for 2017 of new approaches based on the priorities
of its activity and development of Ukraine, promised Volodymyr Groysman.

So,
question # 1 in the draft 2017 budget is financing of the national security and defense within 5% of GDP.

“After
an ordeal, none has a doubt that the Ukrainian army has succeeded. The army that during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of our
independence demonstrated to the whole world its spirit, not only its military
equipment or a march along the central street of the country, but the spirit of
the Ukrainian troops. Everyone could feel it. New weapons, a new uniform
of the Ukrainian Army, the new conditions all these should be prolonged to
make the Ukrainian Army strong and endurable, while the security and defense –
reliable”, accentuated Volodymyr Groysman.

Among the
priorities in the draft budget is the
restoration of the Ukrainian road network and infrastructure that encourages
the creation of new jobs, wages and additional tax revenues, said the Head of
Government.

In particular,
the sum worth UAH 14 bn will be planned for the Road
Fund as an instrument in the construction of roads. It will also accumulate
additional funds from international organizations for projects, thus enabling
to increase severalfold the financing for Ukrainian
roads, even as compared to this year, noted Volodymyr Groysman.

The Prime
Minister stressed that the citizens noted a significant growth in number of current
and ordinary repairs of roads in the country. However, it is impossible to
build high quality roads in a short period of time, he said.

The Government
will intensify the decentralization
reform in the country. Volodymyr Groysman highlighted that in the course of
several years after the launch of the reform, local budgets grew almost twofold
and more. “Now we should strengthen the capacities of local authorities,
local budgets”, he said.

Apart from
that, it is significant to increase the responsibility of local authorities for
the services they must provide, in particular in education, health care sectors
at the local level, preschool and extracurricular education, infrastructure and
energy efficiency, emphasized Volodymyr Groysman.

Energy efficiency is also included into the top priorities of
the budget policy. In 2017 there will be established an Energy Efficiency Fund,
the concept of which has been recently approved by the Government, said the
Prime Minister.

“This
will give us the opportunity to create a tool of more active energy
conservation and will enable us to improve our performance in the consumption
of energy resources, said Volodymyr Groysman. The issue of energy efficiency
is a national security issue, it is a matter of our competitiveness, this is topmost
issue for our statehood.”

In the next
years budget the Government plans to provide for about 1% of the total output
of the agricultural sector, around UAH 5.5 billion, to support small farms. The Government is working to improve the
mechanism, said the PM.

“We
want those who have land, who cultivates it, who makes Ukrainian products, and
even better, who processes them, to receive the appropriate support from the
state. And this support of the state we together with farmers must direct to
the domestic machine manufacturing, something that is badly needed today by the
Ukrainian agrarian: re-equipment, upgrading to improve performance, expanding
the range of products”, stressed the Head of Government.

The Government
will offer the Parliament to increase
the funding of Ukrainian diplomatic missions abroad. In addition, this year
full fledged trade missions of Ukraine
should be established, said Volodymyr Groysman.

“Our
export potential is undeveloped. We need supportive structures in other
countries to facilitate the Ukrainian producers and businesses selling their
goods and services effectively, thereby affording us to explore new market and
develop those we have”, he said.

Education sector is another priority included in 2017 budget.
“From birth a child has only one chance to go to kindergarten, to finish
school, so this period is extremely important, accentuated Volodymyr Groysman.
What we are capable to give this child as a stock of knowledge means that he or
she will be competitive and successful.”

In addition,
the Government will place in the budget raising salaries for the Ukrainian
teachers. “This is the basic position that we will support as well, we
will fight for, and this is only the beginning”, said Volodymyr Groysman.

The Prime
Minister accentuated that among the top priority issues for the Government is
the question of the wages and pension security for Ukrainian
citizens. The Government will suggest approaches to change the system of
remuneration of labour in Ukraine and pension
provision, he said.

It will be
absolutely realistic budget, not populist but real, stressed the Head of
Government. Once we have formed and approved this non-populist budget, since
that moment the opportunities for stabilization and development will raise
dozens times. It is extremely important task for all of us”, he summed up
appealing to the members of the Cabinet of Ministers.