: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Government outlines priority areas for 2017 state budget

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has identified priority areas for state development and the estimated funding of key sectors of the national economy within the framework of drafting the 2017 state budget, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said at a cabinet meeting.

Groysman stated high priority has been placed on financing the Ukrainian army and state security. The projected funding in this area will amount to 5% of the country`s GDP. The second priority area is the development of roads and infrastructure. According to government estimates, the volume of funding for the Road Fund in 2017 will amount to at least UAH 14 billion, excluding funds from international financial organizations. The government plans to pay special attention to supporting farmers, having earmarked at least UAH 5.5 billion for this purpose.

In addition, the government has proposed increasing the funding of diplomatic missions of Ukraine next year and establishing a network of Ukraine`s trade representatives abroad by the end of this year. These representatives are believed to be an effective tool for the promotion and support of Ukrainian products in international markets.

”We plan to increase funding for diplomatic missions. Also, this year, we plan to appoint full-fledged trade representatives. Our export capacity is underdeveloped. We need more agencies in other countries that will enable Ukrainian producers to sell their products, with a view to entering new markets. This is another priority,” Groysman remarked.

Next year, Ukraine will continue its decentralization policy, the prime minister said, underlining the visible successes of this process.

”It is necessary to empower local authorities and local budgets. In recent years, the volume of local budgets has doubled. At the same time, it is important to strengthen the authorities` responsibility for the services they provide to the public,” Groysman added.

Energy efficiency has been named another priority for the 2017 state budget.

”It is a matter of our competitiveness. The Energy Efficiency Fund will be established in 2017, and its concept has been recently approved. It will be a tool for us to ensure the effective use of resources,” the prime minister stated.

Groysman also pledged that the Regional Development Fund would continue its activities next year. He also pointed out that the government had maintained subsidies for the socioeconomic development of regions and would pay particular attention to the development of education in the country.

The Ukrainian government approved the 2017 budget draft resolution on June 24. According to the document, the GDP growth in 2017–2019 is projected at 3–4% with inflation at 8.1% in 2017 and 5.2% in 2019. It is expected that the unemployment rate in Ukraine will drop from 8.6% in 2017 to 8% in 2019. Public debt has been capped at 66.8% of the GDP in 2017 and 61.8% of the GDP in 2019. The hryvnia exchange rate is projected at UAH 27.2 per dollar in 2017.


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