Ukraine Finance Minister: All Benchmarks of Cooperation Program With IMF Fulfilled
Ukrainian Finance Minister Oksana Markarova says that her ministry has fulfilled the requirements set by the IMF
Photo from UNIAN
Ukrainian Finance Minister Oksana Markarova says her ministry has fulfilled all the benchmarks of the program of cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), having implemented the lion’s share of the conditions under the program. This was reported by UNIAN.
“We had a very constructive discussion during IMF experts’ visit. All the current benchmarks and most of the current commitments under the program have been fulfilled, and those that have not been fulfilled are in the process of implementation, and we see their implementation is going well,” she said, the economic news portal Ekonomichna Pravda reported.
According to her, preparations for the announcement of a contest to select heads of the state customs and tax services are under way; however, even if this requirement is met by the middle of May instead of the end of April – it would be a minor technical issue.
“The main thing is that by the time of our six-month review, we have fulfilled everything that we have pledged to fulfill,” Markarova said.
Some of the obligations that Ukraine still has to meet concern state-owned banks.
“HR companies will soon give us a list of candidates for independent supervisory boards of Oschadbank, Ukreximbank and PrivatBank. I hope this will happen before the end of April,” Markarova said.
“Then it will be necessary to decide on representatives from the Cabinet of Ministers and the Presidential Administration. I think that issue will be handled quickly enough,” she said.
The fulfillment of a number of the conditions of the Memorandum and Ukraine’s obligations to the European Union depends on the parliament. The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, is expected to support bill No. 7473 on the introduction of authorized economic operators.
“It belongs to the package of European integration bills, and now we are finalizing it together with the tax and customs policy committee,” Markarova said.
Two more bills that need to be passed as part of the obligations to the IMF and the EU are on introducing common transit (No. 9532) with 35 countries and on preventing money laundering (No. 9417). The latter will allow Ukraine to bring the rules of Ukrainian financial monitoring in line with the EU Directive.
The two bills, together with the ratified MLI Convention [the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting], will allow the Ukrainian authorities to combine efforts in combating the erosion of the tax base and the withdrawal of profits from taxation.
“If we talk about the clauses of the memorandum that are not the benchmarks of the program, the IMF always treats with understanding the reasons why we may fail to meet the deadlines set by the program. The main thing is that these reasons are objective,” she explained.
“We can do something ahead of schedule, something behind the schedule,” Markarova said.
When deciding on a new disbursement, the IMF Executive Board, first of all, pays attention to the implementation of preliminary measures and structural benchmarks of the program. What is more, the IMF’s decision is important for further cooperation with the World Bank, she said. Ukraine has already started talks with the World Bank on the next amount of guarantees.
“There is no final figure yet, but it may be at last year’s level, about US$1 billion,” she said.
Also, further cooperation with the IMF is important for the implementation of the EU Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) program, under which Ukraine is working to receive the second tranche in the amount of EUR 500 million.
“All our international lenders are ready to help us and provide funds, but our participation in the program with the IMF is a signal and a mandatory condition for them,” she concluded.