Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has passed a bill on the national budget for 2020 with 280 supporting votes, while at least 226 votes was required. “This budget includes much more funds for infrastructure, medicine, education, and not reduced, but increased expenses for local self-government. Moreover, all transfers and subventions to local budgets, including the State Regional Development Fund, the subvention for social economic development and the subvention for amalgamated territorial communities, are more than last year. And today, with your vote you added UAH 7 billion from the Road Fund,” Finance Minister Oksana Markarova said from the rostrum of the parliament on Thursday.
As reported, the draft national budget of Ukraine for 2020, prepared by the government for second reading, envisages the allocation of UAH 1.2 billion on the creation of the Bureau of Financial Investigations. Some UAH 1.84 billion will be spent on development and implementation of state investment projects, of which UAH 772.5 million will be allocated for healthcare, UAH 390 million – for transport infrastructure, UAH 190 million – for environmental protection, and UAH 180 million – for education.
The draft budget also envisages the allocation of UAH 52.76 million for the Government Debt Management Agency.
Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada passed at first reading bill No. 2144 with amendments to the Budget Code with 264 supporting votes on October 18.
The bill sets the amount of government support for agricultural producers at a level of no more than 1% of agricultural output due to insufficient spending of these funds.
“For these purposes, the national budget for 2018 earmarked UAH 5.3 billion of expenses, of which UAH 4.2 billion was actually used, or 79.2% of planned amount, which is 0.66% of agricultural output,” the authors of the bill said in the explanatory note.
In addition, the bill determines the amount for the state fund for regional development at the level of no more than 1% of the forecasted income of the general fund of the draft national budget, according to the document.
At the same time, the parliamentary budget committee pointed out the need to refine the bill for second reading.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has registered in the parliament bill No.2285 on the regulation of organization of gambling games in the country. Though, there has been no text of the bill on the parliament’s website so far.
According to the government’s report on its website, the bill suggests restriction of a number of the licenses for the game establishments, sets a demand to place the halls with slot machines exclusively in the territory of 3-5-star hotels, casinos in the territory of five-star hotels.
In addition, the bill proposes to establish mandatory verification of players when accepting bets and registration of winnings in the online monitoring system, which should be administered by the tax service.
At the same time, the government proposes to strengthen financial and criminal liability for the gambling activities without licenses, as well as to establish the target direction of payments for the licenses in this area for the development of sports, medicine and culture.
“Legalization of the gambling business will also allow the budget to receive up to UAH 5 billion, however, the final figures for the budget revenues will depend on in which edition the deputies will adopt the law,” reads the report posted on the website.
Verkhovna Rada Chairman Dmytro Razumkov has said that threshold to the parliament for the parties should be lowered.
“To my mind, a threshold must be less than 5%. This is my personal viewpoint. Each of the factions will have its own viewpoint,” he said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
However, the speaker said that the Election Code, which was vetoed by president, should be improved, and the MPs will do this.
“It seems to me better when, nevertheless, the threshold will be less – 3% or 2%. So that new political forces could enter the Rada. It will be difficult for me to say what this indicator will be, since I am not directly involved in the work of the group (in preparing the Electoral Code for consideration),” said Razumkov.
Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has passed at first reading bill No. 1055-1 on lending state-owned and municipal property, envisaging the lending of this type of property via the e-auction system.
An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that the bill was backed by 263 MPs on Thursday.
“The Verkhovna Rada today adopted bill No. 1055-1, which will finally allow creating fair competition and fully opening up this market. Perhaps the story is familiar to many city dwellers: no one knows who and for what money, what “matchmakers” and “godfathers” rent premises in the middle of the city for UAH 1, to whom the high-rise complex of a plant is rented. All this is now a thing of the past,” First Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Pavlo Kukhta said on his Facebook page, commenting on the adoption of the bill.
He said that according to the document, state-owned and municipal property should be leased according to the results of electronic auctions to those who offered the highest price.
In addition, a unified database of state-owned and municipal property leased will be created.
“By October 1, 2020, all existing lease contracts, even those that were concluded under the old law, will be entered to the electronic trading system @ProZorro.Sales with free access to data,” he added.
Ukraine’s parliament has adopted draft law No. 1071 on amending certain laws of Ukraine involving the development of activities in space and attracting investments to Ukraine’s space sector. The bill will allow private companies to engage in activities in space, including launching rockets into space. Some 308 members of parliament supported the adoption of the bill in its second reading and as a whole, including its technical and legal amendments, at a plenary session on Friday.
According to the explanatory note to the bill, the text of which was published on parliament’s website, the bill will ensure the creation of a competitive environment for the development of private property enterprises along with the public sector of the space industry, and will also help attract investment in Ukraine’s space industry.
According to the text of the document, the basic principles of space activities in Ukraine are: state support for the commercialization of space activities and attracting investments in Ukraine’s space industry, opening outer space for citizens and legal entities and the ability to freely explore and use outer space, including the use of outer space and the resources contained therein, with restrictions only when necessary to ensure compliance with national security interests.
The importance of promoting international cooperation, maintaining and developing existing international relations in the space industry, taking into account national interests, is also emphasized in the bill.
Under the new law, companies will not be required to apply for licenses to work in the space sector.
Currently, only state-owned companies can carry out activities related to testing, production and operation of space launch vehicles in Ukraine.