: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukraine needs comprehensive and rapid reforms – Balcerowicz


Leszek Balcerowicz, the president`s representative in the Cabinet of Ministers and co-chair of the group of strategic advisors on reform support, says Ukraine needs comprehensive and rapid reforms, the lack of which over the period of Ukraine`s independence has resulted in very low standards of living.
Speaking at the National Council of Reforms meeting on Wednesday, May 25, Balcerowicz expressed confidence that the standard of living of Ukrainians could have been much higher, ”because there are reserves for that.”
He also noted that in the period of 2008-2013, Ukraine`s development was not determined by an integrated package of reforms, but rather by an expansionism, that is by increasing the national debt which resulted in a tough macrofinancial situation.
However, Balcerowicz noted that any country that would face similar export restrictions as those applied by Russia toward Ukraine would find itself in a deep economic recession.
”Against the backdrop of this situation, one must praise the achievements of the Ukrainian democratic authorities over the past two years,” Balcerowicz stated.
The National Bank of Ukraine has eliminated threats to the banking system. Foreign trade diversification, exports of goods, reduction of gas imports from Russia are the steps towards the better future, according to Balcerowicz.
”It is important to have complex programs. But the most important thing is to implement them with consideration of strategic goals of the state,” Balcerowicz concluded.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the government`s plan of priority actions to be approved on May 26 aims at achieving the macroeconomic stabilization, improving the business environment, carrying out the judicial reform and strengthening the fight against corruption to restore the economic growth in the country.
Earlier, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated that living standards in the country should be improved within one or two years.
According to the state budget for 2016, the minimum income level in Ukraine since January 1, 2016 has been set at UAH 1,330 ($52.96), UAH 1,399 ($55.71) from May 1, and UAH 1,496 ($59.57) from December 1. The minimum wage was set at UAH 1,378 ($55.12) from January 1, UAH 1,450 ($57.74) from May 1, and UAH 1,550 ($61.72) from December 1.

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