Last week successfully completed an otherwise difficult year of reform.
The main events of this week are:
Macro-financial stabilization: Budget, taxes and the IMF
Parliament approved the state budget for 2016, so the country begins the year with a clear understanding of what it will earn and how it will spend the funds. The budget is formed on a new tax basis, although the approval of tax reform is postponed till the first half of 2016. Current changes to tax legislation are fragmentary and do not fully solve taxpayers’ problems. Yet, however, budget and tax changes decrease tax burden as well as start optimizing and reducing budget expenditures. This gives confidence that Ukraine will continue cooperation with the IMF. The IMF mission will return to Ukraine on January 20, 2016.
Reform of public procurement
The positive experience of the system will now apply to all public procurement contracts: Parliament has adopted the necessary legislation. It is expected to save up to 50 billion UAH next year. Reforming procurement system reduces corruption risks and facilitates further implementation of the budget and tax reforms. The beginning of “procurement revolution” is scheduled for April 1, 2016, when the new law comes into effect.
Implementation of decentralization advantages has started. 133 united communities approved plans of their development and followed all the necessary legal procedures required for their formation. Now they will receive all resources from the state budget directly, bypassing the regional and district level. Besides, the budget provides for allocating 5 billion UAH to the Regional Development Fund. Another 1 billion UAH will be allocated to communities through subventions for building up infrastructure.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau effectively started its activities – оne of the third power representatives was caught in the act of taking a bribe of 3500 dollars. The financial basis for the fight against corruption in 2016 is included in the state budget at a relatively high level: special anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office will receive funds equal to 74 million UAH, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption – 486.6 million UAH each. On this basis the 2016 state budget can be considered the most committed to the fight against corruption.
President signed the Law of Ukraine “On Science and Scientific Work”, which overcomes the gap between Ukrainian and world science. Now the talents of Ukrainian scientists are easier to implement.