Cost of IMF loan: Ukraine seeks to allow farmland sale from 2018

Ukrainian authorities intend before late May 2017 to adopt a law regulating farmland turnover, and starting 2018, when the moratorium expires, to launch farmland sales.

The adoption of a corresponding law is one of the structural beacons of the International Monetary Fund, while Ukraine`s will to start farmland sales is set out in a letter of intent sent to the Fund by the Ukrainian authorities.

”Liberalizing the land market, including the sale of agricultural land, remains essential to boost Ukraine`s growth potential,” the letter reads.

”To this end, we have established a working group with relevant ministries that, in collaboration with the World Bank, will draft legislation to open up the land market and allow the sale of land under adequate safeguards,” the Ukrainian leaders wrote. ”Parliamentary approval of the law on agricultural land circulation is expected by end-May 2017 (a modification and new deadline for the missed end-September 2016 structural benchmark), allowing for the current moratorium on the sale of agricultural land to expire by the end of 2017, thus allowing for the sale of state-owned and private land to start immediately thereafter.”

Ukraine also pledged to launch a public information campaign to explain the benefits of land reform.

Earlier, on February 6, Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk reported that Ukraine had reached an agreement with the IMF on drafting a bill on land reform before the end of May 2017.

The moratorium on farmland sales has been effective in Ukraine since 2001. In October 2016, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine extended it until the end of 2017.

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