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Ukraine's 2016 state budget may be amended further on — PM

December 25, 2015, 20:20 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukraine’s national parliament adopted the budget recommended by the International Monetary Fund on Friday
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Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

© Zurab Javakhadze/TASS

KIEV, December 25. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Friday he does not rule out the country’s state budget for 2016 might be further amended.

"No doubts that over the course of work amendments will be introduced into the budget legislation and in the budget too. And we will do it as we did this morning," he said at a meeting of the cabinet of ministers.

Ukraine’s state budget for 2016 is based on a new draft Tax Code, as recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Both documents were presented in the parliament on December 17 and both came under criticism from nearly all parliamentary factions. As a result, the documents were referred back to the Rada’s tax and customs policy committee.

After a series of failed presentations of the budget and the Tax Code, the International Monetary Fund urged Ukraine to pass the budget in conformity with its recommendation otherwise it warned it would suspend the program of international financial assistance.

Following a marathon discussion, the Verkhovna Rada, or Ukraine’s national parliament, finally adopted the budget by Friday morning.

Under the document, the budget deficit in 2016 is expected to be at 3.7% of GDP and the spending at the level of 667.7 billion hryvnias ($29.1 billion), and the revenues at 595 billion hryvnias ($25.9 billion). Inflation will be 12% and GDP growth at two percent.

The annual average exchange rate will be 24.1 hryvnias per dollar and the price of imported gas at $225 per 1,000 cubic meters.

The minimum living wage next year will climb by 12.5%: on May 1, 2016 to 1,399 hryvnias ($59.5) and on December 1, 2016 to 1,496 hryvnias ($63.6). The minimum pay will also grow on May 1, 2016 to 1,450 hryvnias ($61.7) and on December 1, 2016 to 1,550 hryvnias ($65.9).

The pensions will also grow by 12.5% next year, Social Policy Minister Pavel Rozenko said. The budget envisages spending on the pension fund at 172 billion hryvnias ($7.31 billion).

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