The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has timely submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a draft state budget for 2018 and expresses commitment to embark on a comprehensive dialogue into key aspects of the document. This was stated by Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman during a meeting with experts dedicated to considering the draft budget.
“The budget has been published, there are certain comments, and I will be grateful for the advice and evaluation. I want us to come up with an efficacious document so that it could be backed in the second reading and in general. The earlier we do this, the better it is for the state,” said the Head of Government, “We are completely open. The benchmarks of the budget, I stand ready to support and prove my stance, while the technical issues - please, we offer for the debate. Through such a dialogue we are testing and adjusting our decisions."
The Head of Government aired the essential aspects of the budget and the macro indicators on which the document bases. Thus, the Cabinet of Ministers predicts a 3% growth in the economy in 2018, a 7% inflation and a deficit being 2.7% of GDP. At the same time, the planned budget revenues make up over UAH 1 trillion, a minimum wage growth - up to UAH 3723. An increase in expenditures on social programs, including the program of subsidies – up to over UAH 122 billion, security and defense - at least 5% of GDP, including the army - not less than 3%. The budget of road overhaul and construction – UAH 44 billion, including UAH 4 billion for the road connecting Lviv and Odessa via Vinnytsia, Uman, Mykolayiv and Kherson.
Further is the development of the agricultural sector, which should become a growing point. The total spending planned for the industry in 2018 makes up UAH 7.3 billion, including UAH 1 billion for the farming development program, UAH 1 billion for the program of compensation for the cost of equipment produced in Ukraine, UAH 2 billion for the program of support for animal husbandry and the construction of new breeding complexes. Until the end of the year, the Government expects a program of crediting for agrarians by state-owned banks be shaped and agreed.
Particular attention in the budget is paid to education, and above all a 25% increase in salaries of teachers, to medicine in terms of continuation of programs and changes launched this year, to science and culture as well.
“Where do I see the risks? On the ground. They possess a larger resource, but they should take greater responsibility,” said Volodymyr Groysman, “And our budget – I bet it’s very ambitious. And we need to put the bar high. What am I prepared to undertake the document to be approved? Perhaps I can agree to the priority funding of certain industries. But to make concessions with regards to my conscience, it will never happen," the Prime Minister emphasized.