Ukraine Parliament passes 2017 budget


The Parliament of Ukraine passed a budget for the next year late at night on Tuesday, with 274 lawmakers out of 450 voting in favor of the bill.

The government, which has praised the new document as ‘completely realistic', says it keeps the necessary priorities for Ukraine to continue its gross domestic product growth, which is expected to be at approximately 3% in 2017.

‘During the finalization of the bill [on the state budget], the government has kept the budget priorities - improving defense capabilities, increasing social standards, developing education and healthcare, supporting agriculture and infrastructure projects, supporting regional projects within the framework of decentralization', Ukraine's Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk said, while introducing the bill.

Budget revenue is seen up 2.1 percent to 721.4 billion hryvnias and expenditures up 1.9 percent to 790.4 billion hryvnias compared to the initial draft budget.

The budget also provides a two-fold increase in the minimum wage, which will raise to 122 dollars per month in 2017.

The lawmakers previously aimed to approve the budget weeks ago amid the uncertainty of the cooperation with the IMF Ukrainian economy is heavily reliant on.

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Passing the bill has raised the country's chances to receive the next tranche from the Fund. Kyiv also managed to keep the budget deficit at 3 percent of the GDP, which goes in line with the IMF requirements.

However, the country still needs to take other significant measures, suggested by the Fund, like reforming its dysfunctional pension system.

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