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28 August 1998
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Cabinet Of Ministers To Draft 1999 State Budget Before September 10

The Cabinet of Ministers intends to draft the 1999 state budget before September 10 and send it to Parliament for consideration.

According to Deputy Finance Minister Stanislav Bukovinskyi, who presented a draft of the budget at an August 19 Cabinet of Ministers meeting, the draft budget expenditures and revenues are being calculated on the basis of the 1999 macroeconomics indicators approved on July 21 by the Cabinet of Ministers and also takes into consideration President Kuchma's "economic decrees."

The GDP for 1999 is projected at 112 billion hryvnia (the projected GDP for 1998 is 101.1 billion); the consumer price index is projected at 9.6% (11% in 1998); the wholesale price index is projected at 7.6% (8% in 1998). The consolidated budget revenue is projected at 26.3 billion hryvnia or 23.5% of GDP, including state budget revenues of 19.1 billion hryvnia and local budget revenues of 7.1 billion hryvnia (a consolidated budget revenue of 29.8 billion hryvnia was projected for 1998).

Deductions for construction, reconstruction, repair, and maintenance of automobile roads have been excluded from budget revenues while an amortization coefficient of 1 (instead of 0.6 in 1998) is expected to offset a 2.2-billion-hryvnia reduction in profit tax.

The 1.4-billion-hryvnia reduction in revenues resulting from the August 7 presidential decree that lowered from 10% to 5% the rate of deductions into the Chornobyl Fund will also be taken into account. In drafting the 1999 budget, the government uses as a guideline a budget deficit of 1.5% of GDP (1,660 million hryvnia), which is expected to be financed mainly with external loans.

The draft budget provides for a consolidated budget expenditure of 27.9 billion hryvnia (33.1 billion hryvnia in 1998), including state budget expenditures totaling 20.8 billion hryvnia and local budget expenditures totaling 7.1 billion hryvnia.

The draft 1999 state budget makes no allocations for housing/communal services and public transportation.

1998 consolidated budget revenues totaled 14.7 billion hryvnia in the first seven months of this year, 49.3% of the total projected for the entire year.

On July 24, the last day of its first session, Parliament adopted the resolution "On the Basic Aspects of the 1999 Budget Policy (Budget Resolution)," which directed the Cabinet of Ministers to submit by September 10 projections for the 1999 state budget "with a budget deficit limit that would guarantee full coverage of expenditures on social programs."

 

Pension Fund And Labor Ministry Seeking Presidential Decree Generating Additional Resources Into Pension Fund

The Pension Fund and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies have submitted to the government a draft presidential decree stipulating additional deductions into the Pension Fund:

  • 3 hryvnia from of every gold jewelry (excluding wedding rings) sale;
  • 100 hryvnia from of every car sold;
  • one kopeck from each hryvnia during purchase and sale of foreign currency;
  • one kopeck from each liter of gasoline or diesel fuel sold;
  • raising from 1% to 2% mandatory deductions towards state pension insurance.

    1% deduction towards state pension insurance annually generates 300 million hryvnia.

    The Economics Ministry opposes additional deductions from gasoline and diesel fuel sales. Arrears of pensions totaled 1,818.9 million hryvnia as of August 1.

    Since the beginning of this month, the government has been taking unconventional measures to recover debts owed to the Pension Fund.

     

    Ukrainian Cabinet Of Ministers Issues Circular To Executive Power Bodies, Regional Administrations, Enterprises, Institutions And Organisations To Comply With UN Security Council's Sanctions Against Yugoslavia

    As the Cabinet's press service in Kyiv reported, the Cabinet of Ministers has issued a circular direction to ministries, central authority bodies, regional administrations, enterprises, organizations and institutions ordering them to comply with the UN Security Council's resolution on sanctions against Yugoslavia in view of the situation in its breakaway province Kosovo.

    The direction also instructs the addresses to take necessary steps to cushion the sanctions' impact on their export operations.

     

    Ukrainian Delegation Attending Working Group Session In Minsk On CIS's Reformation

    As DINAU's metropolitan correspondent Olga Tanasiychuk reported, Ukraine has sent its delegation to a working group session in the Belarussian capital, Minsk, by way of preparations for holding a special CIS forum on the organizationís reformation.

    According to Yuriy Yarmilko, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's press center superintendent, Ukraine's stance on the CIS's reformation could be boiled down to the CIS retaining only those bodies, in which all its twelve members are vitally interested.

    The Ukrainian delegation means to submit a draft Declaration on the CIS's strategy and development principles for the 21st century.

    The draft Declaration reportedly provides for novel principles of intra-CIS cooperation, in particular the principles of consensus, openness and priority of economic cooperation.

    The working group session in Minsk is also supposed to tackle the problem of authority delimitation between the Councils of CIS Heads of State and Heads of Government.

     

    People's Rukh Of Ukraine Issues Statement To Express Resentment About Verkhovna Rada Chairperson Tkachenko's Speech At Festive Gathering In Kyiv Marking 7th Anniversary Of Ukraine's Independence

    The People's Rukh of Ukraine has circulated a statement signed by Rukh Chairman Vyacheslav Chornovil, which expresses the movement's resentment about Verkhovna Rada Chairperson Oleksandr Tkachenko's speech at the festive meeting in Kyiv marking the 7th anniversary of Ukraine's independence.

    As the statement says, proceeding from the fact that the present Verkhovna Rada is a body of polar political forces, the text of the VR Chairperson's speech should have been arranged among these.

    The statement refers to Mr. Tkachenko's report to the festive gathering as an "anti-state" one and "demonstrating consent to an opinion held by a leftist force leader."

    The document urges President Kuchma's clear-cut political assessment of Mr. Tkachenko's speech and says the Rukh will insist on carrying out an inquiry on September 1 into which precisely parliamentary factions had authorized the VR Chairperson to deliver his "pro-imperial, anti-statehood speech."

     

    Us Peace Corps Beefs Up Its Volunteer Force In Ukraine

    A group of twelve US Peace Corps volunteers were sworn in Kyiv on Wednesday, August 26.

    The ceremony was attended by US Ambassador to Ukraine Stephen Pifer and high-ranking Ukrainian government officials.

    Ukraine was the first post-Union nation to welcome US Peace Corps volunteers.

    During 1992-1997, 454 US Peace Corps volunteers worked in over 70 Ukrainian cities and towns helping Ukrainians learn more about America's deep-rooted democratic tradition and learning the host nation's rich cultural legacy.

     

    Third Jewish Art Festival Scheduled For October 3-4

    The third Jewish art festival "Shalom Ukraine" will be held in Lutsk from October 3 to 4, according to reports by DINAU's Kyiv correspondent.

    The festival will be organized by the Ukrainian Jewish Fund with support from the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, the Volyn municipal administration, and Joint, an American Jewish distributive committee.

    The festival, which will be dedicated to the Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah, is expected to be attended by popular musicians from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and the United States as well as by various traditional musicians from various cities of Ukraine.

     

    We Have Fair Chances To Preserve Early Shoots Of Economic Stabilization And Growth, Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoitenko Says

    Speaking at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday, August 27, Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoitenko referred to President Leonid Kuchma's recent sizable package of economic decrees and enactments as having been instrumental in overcoming Ukraine's protracted economic slump and preventing a large-scale financial crisis in Ukraine.

    As a result, we now have fairly good chances of preserving the early shoots of economic stabilization and growth, Mr. Pustovoitenko said with a good degree of cautious optimism.

    As the Ukrainian Head of Government further contended, the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Bank of Ukraine have been doing their best to keep the financial situation in Ukraine from worsening.

    According to Mr. Pustovoitenko, Russia's experience proves beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt that the society's political accord and trust in the state authority are decisive for stabilizing and then improving the economic and financial situation.

    Mr. Pustovoitenko expressed hope for his Russian opposite number, Viktor Chernomyrdin, likely to play such a political stabilizing role in speedily overcoming Russia's present financial crisis.

    Mr. Pustovoitenko dismissed, as totally unsubstantiated, media reports about IMF's alleged decision to postpone its EFF credit to Ukraine.

    As he said, during his recent meeting in Crimea with IMF Director Michel Camdessus, which was attended by NBU Governor Viktor Yushchenko as well, the IMF party reaffirmed all its earlier commitments with regard to financing Ukraine.

     

    Russian Ambassador Yuri Dubinin Summoned To Ukrainian Foreign Ministry In Aftermath Of Moscow Mayor Lushkov's Unfriendly Utterances In Sevastopol

    According to sources with the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv, on Friday, August 28 Russian Ambassador Yuri Dubinin was invited to the Ministry by First Deputy Minister O. Chaly, who drew the Russian diplomat's attention to unfriendly, utterances against Ukraine made by Moscow Mayor and Russian Federation Council member Yuri Luzhkov on August 26 during Mr. Luzhkov's visit to Sevastopol, South Crimea.

    As the host party contended, Mr. Luzhkov's yet another unfriendly public pronouncement is in sharp contrast with the positive and dynamic development of Ukrainian-Russian relations, largely through productive negotiations between the two parties and personal contacts between Presidents Kuchma of Ukraine and Yeltsin of Russia.

    Mr. Luzhkov's utterances are also dissonant from the spirit and letter of the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership Treaty, and as such cannot but impair Russo-Ukrainian relations.

    Some of Mr. Luzhkov's public pronouncements may well be interpreted as disrespect for Ukraine and interference in the nation's internal affairs.

     


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