The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a bill on the allocation in 2016 of additional funding for security and defense, the salary of officials, support for coal mines, and investment projects of the Regional Development Fund through savings on loans and unused funds of the budgets of the Ukrainian territories beyond government control.
Bill No.5217 On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine `On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2016` was supported by 265 MPs with the required minimum of 226 votes.
While presenting the bill, First Deputy Finance Minister Oksana Markarova said that the document was developed based on the need to further finance the state agencies responsible for the country`s security and defense with the additional UAH 7.1 billion.
”First of all, this is the Ministry of Defence (UAH 3.8 billion), the National Police (UAH 2 billion), the State Border Guard Service ($1 billion) and some other [agencies],” Markarova said.
The official also noted that the bill amended the budget with respect to financing new expenditures in connection with the previously adopted law on civil service. UAH 1.4 billion is proposed to be allocated, of which UAH 1 billion will go to regional state administrations. ”This is not enough, and we hope to be able to come back to this again, but this is a resource that can already be used to finance our local officials, at the district and regional levels,” said Markarova.
It is also proposed to allocate UAH 420 million for support of coal mining enterprises, in particular for the payment of wages to miners. Another UAH 90 million will be directed to the representation of Ukraine in international bodies. The investment projects of the Regional Development Fund will get UAH 950 million.
Markarova noted that financing the additional costs is proposed through savings achieved on servicing the public debt and temporary redirection to the state budget of the funds from the budgets of uncontrolled territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman had announced changes to the state budget for 2016 at the end of September. He noted that the changes would not reduce costs, instead they would provide for the additional funding for the security sector.
In general, the Ukrainian security and defense budget for 2016 amounts to nearly UAH 114 billion.