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Archive for September, 2010

Healthy lifestyle should become a high priority for the society and state – President

Posted by the Editor on September 30, 2010

News / 30 September 2010 | 17:21

Healthy lifestyle should become a high priority for the society and state - President

Healthy lifestyle should become a high priority for the society and state – President

At the sitting of the Public Humanitarian Council devoted to the development of physical culture and sport in Ukraine in the context of molding healthy lifestyle, President of the National Olympic Committee Sergiy Bubka supported the position of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych that the matter of healthy lifestyle as the key factor that impacts health should become a high priority for the society and state.

President of the National Academy of Pedagogic Sciences of Ukraine, President of Student Sport Union of Ukraine Vasyl Kremin underlined that the issue being discussed today at the Public Humanitarian Council is burning at least because the scientists estimate the level of the Ukrainians’ health at nearly 100th place of the world.   

“This proves that the conclusion made by the Head of state about unsatisfactory condition of the Ukrainians’ health is correct,” he noted. In order to change such a situation, first of all, in V.Kremin’s opinion, the whole society should recognize that today an individual, his or her health is more vulnerable than it was even a few years ago.

“We should create a new holistic model of human life in a modern time, where psychical, intellectual, and physical health is placed first,” he is convinced. The President of the National Academy of Pedagogic Sciences also supported the President’s idea to promote healthy lifestyle.

Minister of Family, Youth and Sport of Ukraine Ravil Safiulin in his speech raised the issue of development of sport infrastructure. He noted that many sport infrastructure sites exist only in statistical reports. This situation should be rectified.

“We should not only revive sport infrastructure. We should build it,” he stressed. “If we aspire to become a healthier nation, if we aspire to become a sporty country, we should develop sport infrastructure,” R.Safiulin pointed out.

The Minister also suggested constructing 500 multifunctional sports grounds, 15 swimming pools and 15 ice rinks a year starting from the next year. 

The Head of state supported such an idea. “500 sports grounds relatively means twenty-five sports grounds in every region. This is not a big deal. If we set such a task to local governments and regional state administrations and ask businesses for support, which are socially responsible today, I think we can arrange it and construct the sites in one year. I support such a proposal,” the President of Ukraine said.

The Public Humanitarian Council members also pointed to the urgency of promoting healthy lifestyle, increasing social advertising in the media.


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Speaker Lytvyn against formation of constitutional majority in parliament

Posted by the Editor on September 30, 2010

News / 30 September 2010 | 14:43

Speaker Lytvyn against formation of constitutional majority in parliament

Speaker Lytvyn against formation of constitutional majority in parliament

Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn claims he is not supporting the formation of a constitutional majority in parliament, he said this at the 2nd meeting of heads of parliament offices of CIS, Baltic and Caucasus states.

At the same time he emphasized that for today the Verkhovna Rada has enough MPs to make effective decisions, UKRINFORM reported.

“We have a sufficient majority, which brings together about 270 people’s deputies. So I am not a supporter of a constitutional majority [constitutional majority – 300 MPs – ed.]. This is my open position, otherwise we may see the temptation to make difficult decisions very quickly. I was always afraid of people who always make difficult decisions quickly. As a rule, these decisions are ineffective,” Lytvyn underscored.


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President intends to restore people’s confidence in the authorities

Posted by the Editor on September 30, 2010

News / 30 September 2010 | 12:53

President intends to restore people's confidence in the authorities

President intends to restore people’s confidence in the authorities

In his speech at the 3rd International Investment Summit Donbass Investment Destination ‘Public and private partnership within a new economic policy of Ukraine’ the Head of state underlined that these days the country badly needs efficient economic reforms. The reforms have not been conducted for 19 years. Particularly the matter concerns the development of investment constituent of the national economy.

“Ukraine is fed up with endless political fight that lasted for 19 years of independence,” Viktor Yanukovych marked.

The President expressed his opinion that all positive developments, which occurred during the years of the existence of the Ukrainian state, happened “not due to a high level of organization of the authorities work and public management but rather vice versa” owing to initiatives of some employees and citizens.  

“Today for the first time during the years of independence we see stable conditions in this country,” the Head of state stressed noting that the speech goes particularly about work of President, Government and parliamentary coalition as a solid mechanism.

Unfortunately, Viktor Yanukovych stated, the citizens lost confidence in power during the long period of instability. “It is impossible to build a strong state without support of the people. Our task for the time being is to assure the Ukrainian people, world community that Ukraine is able to develop long-term plans and implement them,” the Head of state pointed out and added that the matter concerns our commitments before foreign partners.

The President also expressed his confidence that for efficient development of the state we should, first and foremost, establish order in the country, ensure political, economic, and social stability. “The steps we are making today towards a new economic policy should benefit the people”, the Head of state said.

Viktor Yanukovych also underlined that only under these conditions the citizens will support such state policy. That is why, the President noted, he decided to take part in  this sitting of the International Investment Summit.    

“I would like to listen to the citizens’ initiatives. I would like to listen to your ways of combining the efforts of business and authorities, increase social responsibility before the society. I am ready to be involved in this process together with you,” the Head of state said and added that the matter concerns the steps the power should make today towards business.

“I have the authority to speak about it today for the Ukrainian people. I will always assert national interests of Ukraine and Ukrainian citizens. Today together with you I would like to participate in this dialogue,” the President of Ukraine summed up.


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Yanukovych: Authorities and business must establish partnership relations

Posted by the Editor on September 30, 2010

News / 30 September 2010 | 11:01

Yanukovych: Authorities and business must establish partnership relations

Yanukovych: Authorities and business must establish partnership relations

President believes the state needs partnership relations between power and business to be actively developed, as he told joulrnalists in Donetsk during his working visit.

“We should pass this way very quickly,” the president said and reminded that the most countries of the world have made great progress in developing partnership relations between state and business. Viktor Yanukovych underlined that such steps brought these countries success and substantial opportunities for economic growth.

At the same time the head of state expressed confidence in the importance of the fact that Ukraine is already moving along this way. In this context the president estimated highly such forums as today’s international investment summit, which gives great opportunities for sharing opinion and conducting a constructive dialog. 

“This partnership benefits the state and society, people the most, while corruption among officials suffers,” the President said and added: “Today we are doing everything so that the system built in our state for ages would be changing for the benefit of the country, but not for the benefit of officials and corruption.” 

The head of state has underlined that power will make every effort to bridge the gap between the society and its access to various services rendered by the state. That is why, Viktor Yanukovych noted, the licensing system should be profoundly reformed and streamlined.

“The licensing system should be reformed – the number of permits should be decreased and matched up with the world standards. The society, people, who give their estimation, are the best controller,” the president summed up.


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Azarov predicts 2011 GDP growth at about 10%

Posted by the Editor on September 29, 2010

News / 29 September 2010 | 14:45

Azarov predicts 2011 GDP growth at about 10%

Azarov predicts 2011 GDP growth at about 10%

The Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov predicts 2011 GDP growth at about 10% by attracting investment into the Ukrainian economy at about 100 billion UAH, as he said at the conference “Ukraine: Reform, competitiveness, investments”.

The Prime Minister noted that approximately 20-25 billion would be attracted by the investment of resources, about 50 billion – from internal and external loans and 30 billion from the budget, which the Government would allocate for development.

“As a result we get a figure of about 100 billion a year. Here’s the real figure, which we expect next year. If we implement this, we will obtain the GDP growth of about 10% – a pretty good indicator, and we at the end of 2011 will go to the level of 2007,” he said.


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Yanukovych meets PACE Monitoring Committee co-rapporteur on Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on September 29, 2010

News / 29 September 2010 | 12:51

Yanukovych meets PACE Monitoring Committee co-rapporteur on Ukraine

Yanukovych meets PACE Monitoring Committee co-rapporteur on Ukraine

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych met with Mailis Reps, co-rapporteur of the PACE Monitoring Committee.

Speaking at the meeting, President Yanukovych said that the opportunity to exchange views on key issues of development of Ukraine is good for both sides, particularly on the eve of the PACE October session.

Viktor Yanukovych also said that at his recent meeting with PACE Chairman Mevlut Cavusoglu sides had agreed that the Parliamentary Assembly would strengthen coordination of efforts with our state in the context of preparation for Ukraine’s presidency in the Committee of Ministers in 2011.

Viktor Yanukovych also informed Mailis Reps on the progress of reforms in Ukraine. He noted that judicial reform is being implemented as the necessary laws, such as On Judiciary and Status of Judges, were adopted and entered into force.

“This move has strengthened the independence of judges and simplified the procedure of citizens’ access to courts and justice,” Viktor Yanukovych stressed.

Today, the authorities have focused on reforming criminal justice, he said. President Yanukovych reminded that he has signed a decree creating the appropriate working group which would start its work soon.

The preparation of a package of anticorruption laws has entered its final stage, the President said. “Fighting corruption is another main goal of ours. We are doing it with the active participation of specialists of the PACE states, using their experience,” Viktor Yanukovych said.

Sides have dedicated particular attention to the issue of freedom of speech in Ukraine. In this regard the President pointed to importance of the decision to establish public television in Ukraine. “This concept of public television and radio broadcasting has been put to extensive discussion and soon the bill will be discussed in the Parliament. I maintain personal supervision over this issue, as well as over investigation of every case of violation of media rights,” he said.

Viktor Yanukovych and Mailis Reps have also discussed preparation for the local election in Ukraine. “We are deeply interested in these elections being transparent and democratic. And will I do my best to make them so,” the President said.

He noted that special attention was dedicated to improving electoral legislation. In particular, the law on local elections, and later – amendments to it were adopted. “The law and the amendments were aimed at ensuring fair participation of all the political forces in these elections,” he said, adding that later he signed an additional decree to prevent violations during campaigning.

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the President has sent the invitation to PACE and OSCE observers to come to October 31 election in Ukraine. “We hope that our cooperation will be aimed precisely at the qualitative monitoring of the campaign and election. I am sure that objective and balanced assessment would be given. It is very important that objectivity was preserved. We are deeply interested in this, ” Viktor Yanukovych said.

From her part, the co-rapporteur of the PACE Monitoring Committee thanked the President of Ukraine for the meeting. “We would really like you to look at us as people inclined to help you the best we can,” she said.


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President conducts expanded meeting of Committee on Economic Reforms

Posted by the Editor on September 29, 2010

News / 29 September 2010 | 10:52

President conducts expanded meeting of Committee on Economic Reforms

President conducts expanded meeting of Committee on Economic Reforms

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych held an expanded meeting of the Committee on Economic Reforms. Opening the meeting, the President said that businessmen cannot realize their potential fully today because of the inadequate state of the regulatory environment in Ukraine.

“That potential, we have in Ukraine, and which is highlighted at virtually every international meeting with the business communities or investors is not being realized fully, because regulatory policies do not meet international standards. The fight against bureaucracy is continuous, but the Ukrainian state and people should be coming victorious out of any fight,” he said. 

Viktor Yanukovych expressed his assurance that complex procedure of obtaining permits and permanent attention of the supervisory authorities, which are interested in detecting violations and imposing fines more than anything else, are not conducive to the establishment and development of manufacturing enterprises. As an example, the President cited the situation in construction industry, which is regulated by more than 40 legal acts. 

“The primary objective is to develop clear rules, transparent and comprehensible for business. The basic principle of regulatory policy reform must be reducing state interference in economic activity,” he said. 

State regulation and control should focus on activities, which are potentially dangerous to the society (national security, life and health of citizens), or which are connected with the access to limited resources, he said. 

“The interference in activities of all other entities must be minimal,” Viktor Yanukovych added. 

Speaking of the first positive results in reforming the permit system, the President highlighted the fact that the procedure of obtaining the appropriate papers has become easier. 

The system of permit issuing centers has allowed further reducing corruption in the process of obtaining permits, Viktor Yanukovych said. “At the legislative level, preconditions for reducing the number of supervisory authorities were created and practical implementation of the declarative principle of launching economic activity was provided,” he said. 

Soon, the President reminded, a number of bills would be approved to significantly improve the business climate, particularly, reducing the number of licenses, introducing electronic registration of business entities, reforming technical regulation and so on. 

Yet, President Yanukovych noted, despite some positive shifts, the pace of reform is still too slow, and state regulation system still hampers development of business and investment. According to him, simplifying licensing in the construction industry is particularly urgent. 

“Despite numerous declarations of ˩nistry for Regional Development and Building leadership, no concrete and tangible results of deregulation were reached in this area. The majority of declared initiatives remain unimplemented, as no draft government decisions necessary for their implementation, were prepared,” Viktor Yanukovych stressed. 

The President also noted that the law “On state control over economic activity” does not work still, although three years have passed since its adoption.

“The 13 authorities of state supervision have not approved yet the appropriate criteria for categorizing businesses by the risk degree. None of the supervisory authorities approved a list of measures in the framework of state inspections schedule. As a result, business faces excessive, unreasonably frequent inspections and spends time on dealing with controllers, rather than developing,” Viktor Yanukovych said. 

According to the President, the causes of unsatisfactory pace of reforms are quite obvious. They are resistance of officials to any reforms and extremely poor performing discipline. 

“Each of the adopted laws that regulates business activity faces three stages of resistance: resistance during its preparation, attempts to reverse its essence during the adoption and sabotage by some officials at the stage of performance… The whole bureaucratic system resists liberalization and market reforms,” Viktor Yanukovych said. 

“The situation with the law on reducing the number of regulatory agencies is the same today.  New, progressive laws are being lobbied against,” President Yanukovych said, reminding that on September 21 the Parliament had rejected the bill on increasing the responsibility for infringement of procedures of permit issuing. 

He drew particular attention to active opposition to reforms by local governments. These bodies have considerable powers, yet use them to create benefits for friendly commercial structures instead of improving the overall business environment in the region, said the President. 

Addressing the local governments and ministries, the President stressed that he would expect their suggestions on reducing the number of their deputy assistants. “It is unacceptable, that a regional administration chairman or minister has 7 to 9 deputies on average. So I expect your proposals,” the President said. 

The President also outlined the next steps in key areas of reform. 

As to the licensing system, Viktor Yanukovych said, there is a need to introduce the new permit issuing, when businessmen would work only with state administrators, not representatives of local licensing authorities. “There must be no direct contacts between a businessmen ant the person deciding whether to grant a permit,” he said. 

The President also pointed to the need to thoroughly review all licensing procedures for the construction industry in order to minimize the number of documents and agreements necessary to begin construction and commission the built facilities. “Most of the facilities must be provided with all the papers in no more than 60 days,” Viktor Yanukovych said. 

Besides, President Yanukovych demanded that the system of categorizing businesses by the degree of danger to citizens and society is implemented, and that regulatory authorities approve the lists of checks questions and unified forms. 

The President emphasized the need for radical reforming of the products quality monitoring system, reminding that he had brought in to the Parliament the Law “On Market Supervision and Goods Quality Control” and “On Prevention of Dangerous Products Trafficking in Ukraine” as urgent. 

“Passing these bills would introduce European principles of control over quality of products, which are sold at the domestic market. Manufacturers will be checked only upon the fact of detection of dangerous products,” he said. 

President Yanukovych also noted the importance of reforming the area of administrative services, and the urgent need for adoption of the Law “On Administrative Services”, concurrently with the Administrative Procedure Code. 

“These laws are to put strict requirements as to authorities’ powers to provide administrative services, introduction of the list of administrative services, establishment of a fair price for them and making some of them free, and creation of appropriate conditions for receiving them throughout Ukraine,” he said. 

The next step, he said, would be the audit of all services provided by public institutions and enterprises created by them as to their compliance with the law.


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Ukraine to put Ukrtelecom up for sale

Posted by the Editor on September 28, 2010

News / 28 September 2010 | 16:32

Ukraine to put Ukrtelecom up for sale

Ukraine to put Ukrtelecom up for sale

The Ukrainian government at a meeting on Monday decided to put an entire state stake in telecoms giant OJSC Ukrtelecom up for sale, Deputy Prime Minister Sergiy Tigipko told Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

“We’re putting an entire stake in Ukrtelecom up for sale,” he said.

Head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine Oleksandr Riabchenko said earlier that a tender for Ukrtelecom’s privatization would have to be called by August 15, 2010 so that the expected proceeds of at least UAH 10 billion could go towards meeting the budgeted privatization target for the year. However, Ukraine then delayed the launch of Ukrtelecom’s privatization by a month and planned to offer 92.79% of the national provider at an auction in September rather than August.

Ukraine has been trying to sell Ukrtelecom off since the late 1990s, but has only succeeded in selling shares for a discount.

The government led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko tried to sell all but a 25% plus one share stake in 2008, asking UAH 1.04 per share, or UAH 13.2 billion for the whole 67.79% that was being offered. The price was later lowered to UAH 12 billion. Ukraine then planned to put the 67.79% up for auction in December 2009.

Ukrtelecom’s net profit was UAH 47.97 million in January-June 2010, compared with losses of UAH 124.13 million in the same period of last year. Net revenue grew by 3.3% to UAH 3.403 billion.

In 2009, Ukrtelecom reduced net losses by 3.3 times to UAH 456.43 million, increasing net revenue by 3.4% to UAH 6.87 billion.


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