Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman expressed dissatisfaction with the work of the national coal industry leaders and initiated the immediate preparation of a step-by-step Action Plan containing measures till the end of the year and in 2019 in order to eliminate existing imbalances and inefficient processes management, primarily the financial ones. The Head of Government said during a special meeting with participation of representatives of relevant ministries, parliamentarians, trade union leaders and heads of local authorities.
The Prime Minister stressed that talks about the necessary modernization of state coal enterprises, and, along with this about changes in asset management have been held for several years. Under the modernization program, funds are allocated. But one way or another they are subsequently transferred to pay off the difference between the high cost of coal mined at the state mines and its price in a market that is significantly lower. Such an approach is extremely ineffective, because the lack of investment in the industry development leads to a decrease in production and occurrence of regular debts to miners.
"I express disappointment with the work of the coal industry leaders. What we see is that the reality is not optimistic. But we must take all due measures to stabilize the coal industry. We can observe a growing demand in consumption of Ukrainian coal. Hence, it is necessary to increase extraction, invest in mining, in improving the working conditions for miners", said Volodymyr Groysman. "We can see that the current policy of industry leaders is ineffective. Therefore, I have set a clear objective - to formulate an action plan."
In this plan, in the opinion of the Head of Government, it is crucial to include several important positions, among which are the start of the work of the National Coal Company designed to bring all state-run coalmines under one company and to monitor the situation in the industry, as well as the introduction of mechanisms for removing financial imbalances leading to growing arrears in wages to the miners.
"I would like to emphasize: it is not the Government who accumulates arrears of wages to miners, as it does not pay these wages. We compensate for the loss of the coal industry. Sometimes coal mining process is several times more expensive than this coal sold. And this is a problem. These disparities should be changed. Hence, this plan will offer solutions to these problems", added the Prime Minister.