Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman presented the report of the Government for the third quarter of 2017 and placed a special emphasis on the unchangeable priorities of the Cabinet of Ministers. Among them - economic growth, security and defense, the fight against corruption, investment in human capital assets.
Volodymyr Groysman emphasized the Government adopted a three-year budget resolution over the last months, timely submitted a draft state budget for 2018 to the Parliament, approved a number of decisions seeking to increase the credit rating of the country and entered the lending market.
According to the Prime Minister, the initial task is to accelerate economic upturn, to create a favorable investment climate, and to continue the development of industry.
While presenting the results of the Government's activities, Volodymyr Groysman drew attention to the fact that the Cabinet of Ministers envisages a 3% economic growth in 2018, thereby encapsulating the growth of production output by UAH 400 billion, the creation of dozens thousands of new jobs, as well as the growth of the payroll budget by UAH 180 billion.
“These figures are not overriding criterions, they can be increased in case of the implementation of far-reaching reforms and changes”, emphasized the Prime Minister.
Touching upon the issue of the investment climate, the Head of Government noted the business already operates in favorable conditions, using electronic registers, in particular the VAT refund register, which was launched in the summer and once and for all eliminated the problem of gross corruption in this sector. The performance of the customs was updated as well: revenues were thrice increased and measures to prevent smuggling are underway. “At present, the burning issue is the creation of conditions for control and the merging of databases with international partners”, underlined Volodymyr Groysman.
The government officials place great hope in the privatization process and renewal of the management system of state enterprises and national banks. According to the Prime Minister, a crucial step in this direction should be the adoption of a new law on privatization and the further use of the ProZorro system in small-scale privatization.
A separate item on the agenda of the Government is the support of the agricultural sector that is one of the most powerful economic growth pillars. At the initiative of the Cabinet of Ministers, programs of direct support for agribusiness, compensation of the cost of agricultural machinery are already operating. The Prime Minister assures the introduction of support programs for farms and enterprises for the processing of agricultural raw materials, including export-oriented businesses, to be kicked off shortly.
In this regard, the Prime Minister emphasized Ukrainian logistics capabilities assume a greater importance inter alia airports, railways, roads. “I hope that Ukrainians notice that we have achieved an unprecedented level of repair and construction work on roads. Next year we have to increase funding for road overhaul activities by one third”, underlined the Prime Minister.
An essential area of focus is the gradual reduction of import of energy resources and achievement of energy independence. “Over a nine-month period we have managed to halt the decline in production and to increase the extraction of domestic gas by 700 million cubic meters”, Volodymyr Groysman claimed.
Moreover, he accentuated the necessary reserves have been accumulated in order to ensure smooth and stable passage of the heating season. More than 6.5 million families will receive subsidies for the payment of housing and utility costs as targeted support.
"I wish to point out that over the past 9 months over 100 thousand Ukrainian haouseholds have joined the Warm Loan program. Next year the Energy Efficiency Fund will launch operation," emphasized Volodymyr Groysman.
Among the priorities, according to the Prime Minister, are greater efficiency of governance through cadre refresh within ministries and departments, the launch of e-document management, the use of electronic identification for citizens and legal entities, and the continuation of a decentralization reform. "During January-August growth of local budget revenues amounted to UAH 31.1 billion. We prolong the process of amalgamation of territorial communities, separately focus on a program of regional projects", stressed the Head of Government. He added that a resource of state support for local initiatives amounts to more than UAH 3 billion to be directed to projects for the construction and reconstruction of educational institutions, cultural and sports facilities.
Government has embarked on consistent improvement of social standards. One of the goals is to shape a fair pension system independent of policy makers, but instead the one introducing equity principles for people with long record of service. "We have disrupted the shameful practice of ‘handouts’ during the election rallies, formed a system deprived of political influence. Recently, a plan of measures for the introduction of the accumulation system has been adopted. We will continue work in this direction," said Volodymyr Groysman.
The following step is the reform of the healthcare sector, the continuation of the Available Medicine program with already over 6,500 pharmacies participating and for these purposes next year there will be allotted UAH 1 billion, the construction of a network of cardiological centers in the regions of Ukraine, the introduction of a support system for families with children suffering from severe illnesses. "We are looking forward to effective voting in the session hall of the Parliament in the next few days to support the adoption of draft laws on medical reform. It is the catastrophic situation in our healthcare system. We can’t continue to maintain the mess that exists in the system,” urged Volodymyr Groysman, “We are capable of changing it. If we start now, the healthcare system will be different in a few years. I urge everyone to unite, 226 votes in support – and within a short period of time we will establish order in the health care system. It is our duty."
Another firm priority is education and science. At present, the standards of a new Ukrainian school are being implemented, 17 thousand places were created in kindergartens. "We are also taking steps to promote the development of science. Those include financing young scientists' works, creation of an Innovations Support Fund", stressed the Head of Government.
Culture, in particular cinema, youth policy and sports, don’t go unnoticed.
The rule of law and the fight against corruption are also among the domain affected by change, noted Volodymyr Groysman. It involves the introduction of electronic services, anti-raider activities by means of open land auctions through the blockchain system, the disclosure of data – from the state budget to the owners of businesses, as well as the prevention of legalization of ‘grey’ revenues.
"Security and defense... In 2017, the military received 771 samples of new equipment, new military installations and ammunition, and a new telecommunication network is being created,” said Volodymyr Groysman, “We can boast of decrease in the number of crimes by 14.5%, as compared to last year’s showings. This means that order is being restored in the country. And we must strengthen the role of law enforcement agencies –punishment for crimes must be inevitable.
The Head of Government noted that the report contains concrete figures and facts, the specific work being done by government officials on daily basis. "But to talk about work is one thing, but to do a job is another. I assure you that every month we will demonstrate changes. A lot has been done, but much more needs to be done. Hence, we need unity as also pragmatic and professional approaches (to the adoption and implementation of decisions)", stressed Volodymyr Groysman.
Separately, Volodymyr Groysman commented on the events near the Verkhovna Rada. In his opinion, the issue of combating corruption, limiting the immunity of MPs, and continuing of the launched reforms should consolidate the votes in Parliament, rather than destabilize the situation in the state in favor of politicians and their loud slogans.
"I will be with those who support the adoption of vital decisions, and against those who destroy the country from the inside. Through dialogue it is possible to bring about transformations. But at the same time, we should assess those who can negatively affect the state", said Volodymyr Groysman.