The FINANCIAL — Prime Minister Mykola Azarov thinks it will be difficult to accomplish the draft national budget for 2010 the Cabinet of Ministers submitted to the Verkhovna Rada, he told in an interview with Podrobnosti Nedeli programme broadcasted on Inter TV channel on April 25.
"I tell you, it is difficult, it is extremely tense, I even can't name it good — it cannot be good when the economy is in recession. But it is realistic. It is awkward though realisable. And it gives our business, our economy and our people confidence in getting out from that deep hole we have plunged into for the last two years," Azarov said.
The prime minister positively evaluated the agreements signed on April 21, those on revision of gas prices and prolonging deployment of the Russian Black Sea fleet on the territory of Ukraine. He marked namely this agreement enabled Cabinet to revise the draft state budget, including to the effect of raising social benefits.
"We removed from it all expenses on compensations, for instance to Naftohaz Ukrainy for the gas prices, about seven billion hryvnias, and re-oriented these resources to resolve social issues," he said.
Thank to a relevant agreement the government managed to avoid higher housing-and-utility rates and prices of gas for industrial enterprises, Azarov added.
"This will allow enterprises saving. And out task is that the saved means to be obligatory invested in modernisation of our economy," he said.
The prime minister says that Cabinet plans to use these resources, as well as investments, to complete construction of three metro stations in Kyiv before 2011.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Cabinet of Ministers on April 23 submitted to the Verkhovna Rada draft national budget for 2010.
As to Azarov, the draft budget is based on a deficit of some 5% of GDP.