State coal mines require ongoing production process and increase in extraction by the significant modernization of all processes, and it is important to pay the arrears of wages not make miners go on strike. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman said during a Government meeting devoted to the situation in the coal industry.
"Within the framework of the Ministry (of Energy and Coal Industry) it is crucial to take clear, concrete decisions that will allow to bailout the industry. I have analyzed the situation and I can assure you it is possible. We should forget about miners banging their helmets when people complain about their wages. It is appropriate to hear the noise of production equipment working at the mining enterprises", the Head of Government urged.
The PM set relevant objectives to Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Ihor Nasalyk, who is personally responsible for the development of the industry.
"I am ready to help, moreover, I have set clear, concrete tasks that need to be solved to regain control over the situation. We must boost domestic coal production and reduce imports. There are no issues that are impossible to settle there within the competence of the Ministry and with the assistance of the Government and the Prime Minister", added the Head of Government.
Moreover, Volodymyr Groysman told in early August, the Government expects a comprehensive action plan containing investment proposals, assessing the effectiveness of the use of available resources, audit plans.
"We have to achieve stability in the industry. The task has been set, I will wait for the report and concrete results", summed up the Prime Minister.
There are currently 102 state-owned mines in Ukraine, but the vast majority are located in the area of the Joint Forces Operation. Operating outside of the aforesaid area are considered 33 mines. Of these, only 4 mines are profitable. During 5 months of the current year the volume of extraction amounted to 1 852.9 thousand tons. It is by 3.6% less than planned and by 7.6% less than during the corresponding period of 2017. Meanwhile, the cost of production increased by more than 30.5%, as compared to last year.
Commenting on the situation, the Head of Government has repeatedly emphasized that the industry require to address two important issues at once: to achieve break-even operation and modernization of production facilities, which would reduce the prime cost and increase the safety of work. The amount of budget support for mines exceeds UAH 1 billion annually. In mid-July, the Verkhovna Rada approved changes to the State Budget and allowed to allocate an additional UAH 1.4 billion for the needs of miners, primarily as part of paying arrears of wages.