Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in Ukraine is starting to decline, the situation in many regions is stabilizing, Health Minister of Ukraine Maksym Stepanov said.
“We have withstood another jump in the incidence of COVID-19, and gradually the situation started to improve. Now in many regions the situation is stabilizing. We have been observing a decline in incidence in Ukraine within ten days,” he wrote on the Facebook page on Wednesday.
Stepanov said that on the eve of Tuesday, April 13, “was the first day when the number of people discharged from hospitals exceeded the number of hospitalized people by 22.8%.”
He also said that 2,000 fewer patients were admitted to hospitals last week than a week earlier, and several regions, in particular Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattia, left the “red” zone.
At the same time, Stepanov said “some regions, in particular the city of Kyiv, as well as Kyiv, Lviv and Poltava regions, continue to be in the ‘red’ zone of increased epidemic danger and the situation there remains extremely difficult.”
“It is very important to continue adhering to the established restrictions and anti-epidemic measures: wearing masks, using antiseptics, avoiding crowds of people,” the minister said.
In 2020, the Business Ombudsman Council (BOC) received 1,193 complaints about work of the State Tax Service, State Customs Service and State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, which is 120 complaints more than in 2019, and a total of 1,737 complaints were received during the year, which is 91 more than a year ago.
“In 2020, the Business Ombudsman Council received 1737 complaints and completed the investigation of 1159 cases, which is 9% and 2% more than in 2019 respectively,” BOC said in its annual report published on Wednesday.
In total, four subjects of appeals accounted for 85% of business complaints about violations of state bodies: tax issues (64%), actions of law enforcement agencies (12%), actions of state regulators (5%) and customs issues (4%), according to the report.
“Despite the moratorium on most tax audits and reduction of complaints on this subject, the number of business appeals on tax issues increased by 14% in comparison with 2019 (from 981 to 1117 appeals). In particular, the number of complaints about tax invoices suspension tripled (from 95 to 273), by 63% on inclusion in risky taxpayers’ lists (from 127 to 207), by 36% – on non-enforcement of court decisions on tax invoices registration (from 108 to 147),” BOC said.
Complaints were predominantly lodged by Ukrainian companies (89%), mostly small and medium-sized businesses (76%). Traditionally, the most active in terms of the number of complaints were wholesalers (26%), manufacturing (12%), agribusiness (12%), real estate (11%) and individual entrepreneurs (10%) representatives.
In 2020, with the adoption of respective laws and regulations, the following were implemented: a mechanism to inform the company of the reasons for inclusion in the risky taxpayers lists and ways to be removed therefrom was introduced; regular work of the Expert Council on preparation of generalized tax consultations was resumed; renewal of electronic VAT administration system indicators for taxpayers, whose registration was canceled and subsequently renewed, was provided.
Business Ombudsman Marcin Święcicki said that BOC is waiting for a new version of the bill on the business ombudsman.
“A new version of the draft law on the Business Ombudsman Institution, which takes into account all the key comments of MPs and stakeholders, is awaiting registration in the Verkhovna Rada. The law should stabilize the BOC activities, regulate its cooperation with complainants and state bodies, as well as clearly define the rights and responsibilities of the institution,” the press service said, citing Święcicki.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga and invited him to Kiev to celebrate the Independence Day of Ukraine.
“Glad to talk to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Grateful to Japan for supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The support of G7 & in particular Japan, one of our key partners, is crucial. I’ll be glad to see you in Kyiv at the celebration of Ukraine’s IndependenceDay & at the Crimean Platform summit,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Parliament) adopted at first reading bill No. 5308, which proposes the issue of securities for UAH 20 billion for the implementation of the Affordable Mortgage president’s program.
The bill in the first reading was supported by 263 MPs. “The bill provides that the Ministry of Finance shall issue government domestic loan bonds… with the subsequent acquisition of shares in state ownership in exchange for the shares of the additional issue of Ukrainian Financial Housing Company to provide citizens with housing and resolve issues of financial and economic activities of the company in connection with the accession to the State Mortgage Institution,” one of the authors of the bill, a member of the Rada budget committee Lesia Zaburanna said from the rostrum of parliament.
Currently, the activities of the State Mortgage Institution are unprofitable, she added.
According to the lawmaker, the adoption of this bill will allow continuing the implementation of existing state programs and will allow in the short term providing about 8,000 mortgage loans for the purchase of housing. It would be possible to buy 12,000 apartments for subsequent transfer to financial leasing.