The Verkhovna Rada approved in the first reading the draft State Budget for 2019 by 240 votes.
The acting Minister of Finance Oksana Markarova’s team and the Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada worked through 2171 proposals from the members of the Parliament in the week preceding the crucial vote.
“We worked very closely with the Budget Committee to ensure that regardless of all the changes, the budget remains balanced and realistic. A lot of hard work is ahead, but we are committed to keeping the budget deficit at 2.28% of the GDP, compared to 2.4% last year,” – Markarova said.
According to Markarova, the draft budget is prudent and conservative, but at the same time clearly reflects the government’s policy priorities, such as raising the minimum wage from 3723 to 4173 hryvnas, improving Ukraine’s defense and security capacity and funding structural reforms.
The original draft of the 2019 budget, which the Government of Ukraine submitted a month ago envisaged the total volume of the state budget for 2019 as equal to 1,108.1 billion hryvnas, including 994 billion hryvnas for the general fund (+84.6 billion hryvnas compared to 2018): revenues – 916.1 billion hryvnas; deficit – 69.6 billion hryvnas; re-payment of loans – 8.3 billion hryvnas. The deficit of the state budget is equal to 90 billion hryvnas or 2.28% of the GDP.
Now, the Government will review the amendments and prepare the budget for the Verkhovna Rada’s final consideration.