The Ministry of Finance expects a positive decision from the Board of Directors of the International Monetary Fund - Ukraine's key creditor - regarding a new four-year cooperation program with Ukraine, but says the meeting of the Board of Directors of the IMF will be postponed in connection with Ukraine's failure to meet a number of requirements, namely the delayed adoption of the changes in tax and pension legislation and the law on the recovery of Naftohaz of Ukraine by the parliament. First Deputy Minister of Finance of Ukraine Ihor Umanskyi stated, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.
"We expect that the Ukrainian issue will be resolved positively but (this will happen. - ed.) once we meet several preconditions. Taking such a decision earlier makes no sense," Umanskyi said.
He stressed that the key precondition of the IMF is adoption of a number of already agreed laws by the parliament. "We are ready to accomplish everything within the governmental competence without the Verkhovna Rada except those decisions that must be adopted at the legislative level - they were placed on the agenda of the parliament, they were discussed by the factions ... Now it all depends on how soon the decision (the legislation - ed.) will be made," Umanskyi said adding: "We wanted it to be done yet this week. But now it looks like that there will be no sessions of the Verkhovna Rada until Tuesday, March 3. Although the situation, especially in the foreign exchange market, is critical."
Earlier, IMF Director of the Communications Department Gerry Rice said that IMF Board of Directors meeting, where the new four-years loan program for the Ukrainian economy in the amount of $17.5 billion to be considered, will be held late February - early March. According to him, consultations with other prospective creditors of Ukraine concerning the previously announced total loan package in the amount of $40 billion will be held by that time.
Cabinet approved a memorandum of cooperation with the IMF Feb. 12 on new program that will replace the current "stand-by" one, concluded in April 2014.
The program provides for changes in fiscal policy to stabilize the system of state finances, social support during the increase of tariffs for gas and central heating, Naftohaz of Ukraine revival to a debt-neutral state until 2017 with the help of a set of measures, including gradual increase of gas tariffs and other measures to stabilize the macroeconomic situation in the country and increase the investment attractiveness.
In late February, the government submitted a number of bills to the parliament, including changes to the state budget in 2015 in terms of revenues and expenses, changes in pension laws with regard to preferential pension age for women, reduction of pension benefits for working pensioners and the total abolition of the pension payments to the current MPs and persons equated to them, as well as the introduction of mechanisms for enforced debts recovery from heating enterprises and industry in favor of Naftohaz of Ukraine.