The Cabinet of Ministers under the leadership of Volodymyr Groisman started its work a year ago. This period was very rich in events and reforms. Many important results have been achieved. At the same time, there are still many tasks remaining in the government’s to-do list
So, what has been done and what issues are still outstanding? The EBA experts analysed the work of the Cabinet and identified the main technical issues for the Prime Minister and his team.
TAXATION AND CUSTOMS
Among the main achievements of the current government, business considers a dozen tax and customs innovations aimed at simplifying doing business in Ukraine. These include the new transparent mechanism of VAT refunds which was launched; the process of establishing the Service on Financial Investigations started; the “Single window” system at customs was also launched. Simultaneously, companies note that there is a lack of effectiveness with this system and insist on its further improvement.
Key infrastructure achievements of the year – avoidance of port administrative cost increase; creation of a special Road fund of Ukraine; the opportunity for limitation of critical size of liability for carriers and ferries. At the same time, business points out the problems with railway cargo traffic in terms of security. One more important question in this field is verification of port costs rates as well as the quality of roads for automobiles.
RETAIL, CONSUMER ELECTRONICS
For a long time the Association maintained a position for cancellation of state regulation for prices and socially important food products – and these initiatives were finally completed in the framework of a pilot project. Now we are waiting for total cancellation of such regulations. The business community also welcomes the implementation of obligatory use of cash registers, including for payers of the single tax in selling consumer electronics which need warranty repair. Moreover, a huge issue for several industries is illegal online trading. Companies that produce and import alcohol products also suffer from this problem.
One more important achievement this year was the launch of major work on reforming the healthcare sphere and realisation of certain steps in making medicines more available. Namely, this refers to the program for refund of medicines to patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases, bronchial asthma and type II diabetes. Among the issues, which still need action include solution of the problem with implementation of a renewed National list of medicines and guaranteed standard pace of medicines procurement; guarantee of effective cooperation with the professional community for further development of reimbursement processes and rational use of state budget costs; cancellation of VAT for operations importing medicines for clinical trials and implementing the single tax rate for import and supply of medicines.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
A positive change for agricultural business, particularly in the grain sector, was the abolition of the ban on blending export grains of different classes, which will allow to optimise grain infrastructure. However, certain problems remain unsolved in the agrochemical sector, namely the inability of cross-border transportation of obsolete pesticides for further disposal; complicated procedure for approval of hygienic standards and regulations of safe application of pesticides. Also, there are a number of unsettled issues in the forestry sector – elaboration of a development strategy for the forestry industry of Ukraine; introducing effective and transparent timber measurement for all permanent forest users; creating an effective and transparent system of unprocessed timber sales and ensuring effective control over its implementation.
The EBA expresses gratitude to the Cabinet of Ministers for a productive year and their willingness to listen to businesses’ opinions while making important government decisions. We would like to take this opportunity to draw the Government’s attention to pressing issues facing the business community that require a prompt response and we hope to speed up reforms and enhance the business climate in the nearest future.