As a basis of the draft 2017 Budget it was laid the philosophy that Ukraine must stop being provider of raw materials for other countries, its economy must develop, produce competitive goods and contribute to improving the quality of lives of Ukrainian citizens. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman said during consideration of the draft Law on the State budget of Ukraine for 2017 in the first reading at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Thursday.
"I want us to cease being mere supplier of raw materials for the economies of other countries, it is vital to ensure production of national product that will be competitive and will provide Ukrainians with decent jobs. All these constitute the philosophy of this Budget", explained Volodymyr Groysman.
The Head of Government stressed that for decades Ukraine had been stagnant. According to him, the reason is that at the proper time there weren’t implemented necessary reforms, there weren’t built systems providing an opportunity for people to receive decent pensions, decent wages, there weren’t created conditions for investment in the economy, opportunities for the development of communities. Ukraine demonstrated decay along numerous showings.
As a result, the country was transformed into a mere supplier of raw materials for the neighboring country and was not ready for the challenges, which it subsequently faced, and temporarily lost part of its territories and traditional markets, he said.
"Today we have a chance – this chance is that we must develop the national economy, while the benefits the national economy produces permanently invest in the quality of lives of Ukrainian citizens", he stressed.
The Prime Minister reminded that the Government had timely submitted to Parliament a draft Budget.
The draft Budget is fair, well balanced, real, and contains a number of important priorities, in particular:
- Fund the national security and defense. In this regard, the Prime Minister said that he agreed with the necessity to improve control over the use of these resources and urged the MPs to ensure effectiveness and openness of this process;
- Preserve a system of financial decentralization. Volodymyr Groysman noted that there hadn’t been decentralization back in 2006-2013. The central government shamelessly tried to usurp power. Instead, in the last year local budgets grew by UAH 34 billion;
- Prolong large-scale reforms in the road sector. The Government envisaged allocation of a twofold resource in the construction of Ukrainian roads;
- Prolong energy efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Fund can raise from UAH 3.5 to 4 billion. Separately, the sum worth $ 2 billion has been invested in a variety of programs in energy efficiency that is currently used, plus at the stage of disbursement - UAH 50 billion. Using the resource of the State Regional Development Fund, this sum can reach UAH 60 billion, noted Volodymyr Groysman;
- Reform of the education area. It is envisaged a 30% increase of teachers' wages;
- Improve social standards by another 10% in addition to a 10% increase planned from December 1;
- Budget resource to ensure 100% provision of citizens with medicines, and raise salaries for doctors by 20%; and other priorities.
"I have a good announcement: this is just the beginning", said the Head of Government.
"It's not Groysman’s Budget for 2017, it is the Budget of our great European country", stressed the Prime Minister.