The draft amendments to the State Budget for 2020, which was presented by the Cabinet of Ministers the day before, were included in the agenda of the extraordinary session of the Verkhovna Rada, to be held on March 30, 2020.
Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal was present at the Conciliation Council meeting to discuss the draft amendments to the State Budget 2020.
The Head of Government noted that it is a joint document of the Government and the line committee of the Verkhovna Rada, which comprises representatives of all political forces, and that these changes are critical to combat COVID-19 and its consequences.
“The budget we have formed is the budget of the emergency situation amid global pandemic. We have several principled positions within the framework of this budget,” the Head of Government stated.
He stressed that no hryvnia would be withdrawn from the army and military budget. This also applies to arms modernization, building housing for the military, and reform of the defense-industrial complex.
Besides, the Government thoroughly reviewed all expenditures and made a temporary decision to limit the salaries of all officials at the time of the fight against the coronavirus - 10 minimum salaries, i.e. the amount of wage is limited to ten minimum salaries. In addition, it is proposed to reduce the capital expenditures for the central authorities by UAH 1 billion, and to reduce the funds for business travel of officials by UAH 700 million.
"The purpose of adopting these unpopular changes is to increase the funding of all those who are now at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus infection. First, it applies to the entire medical personnel,” the Prime Minister said.
Additional funding will be provided through the Coronavirus Response Fund. The resources will be directed to additional compensation to doctors, the purchase of ventilators, masks, protection suits, and tests. The total volume of the fund makes up UAH 97.1 billion.
Moreover, Denys Schmyhal stressed that decisions on payment would be made jointly with Parliament's Budget Committee.
Apart from that, in the State Budget there will be budgeted UAH 31.6 billion to be directed to provide pensioners with timely payments, as well as an increase of relevant payments.
The Government has also developed a number of mechanisms to help the population to get as fast as possible the payment as a result of losing a job and support mechanisms while paying for utility bills.
“I would like to emphasize that within the framework of the revision of the State Budget we have also managed to provide in full a considerable number of articles on economy support, agrarian support, road maintenance. Only for the construction and repair of roads of national importance, there remains the sum worth UAH 37.3 billion in the state budget, despite the times of challenges,” the Head of Government noted.
At that, Denys Schmyhal reassured local governments: “Nevertheless, we leave a significant number of subsidies in the regions. This includes subsidies for roads, medicine, education. Besides, additional subsidies to regions can be redistributed through the Coronavirus Response Fund."
The Government expresses commitment to develop new support mechanisms for small and medium-sized businesses as well as for public utility companies. A separate bill will be developed for this purpose.