Business asks the Parliament not to paralyze the country’s economy with new mobilization legislation
The functioning of the economy is extremely important both for the country and for the approach of Ukraine’s Victory. This work is directly related to the work of businesses in the country, which pay taxes, provide jobs, pay salaries, donate, etc.
Of course, being at war for years now, support and provision of the military front is essential. However, a balance is needed between the military front and the economy. After all, one direction cannot exist without the other. Yes, Ukraine as a country receives important and considerable assistance from international partners, for which we should say a big thank you. However, as we can see, these finances alone cannot and will not meet all the country’s needs – Ukraine needs a working business, and it needs new investments. Ukraine needs a working economy to win!
To understand the figures, according to the Central Interregional Administration of the State Tax Service of Ukraine for Work with Large Taxpayers, in November alone, large businesses paid almost UAH 27 billion to the state budget. This demonstrates the importance of business for the military front, as it provides the Armed Forces with resources thanks to the taxes paid by the business.
At the same time, the issue of human resources has become particularly sensitive for these two areas.
On January 30 this year, the Government’s draft law No. 10449 was reintroduced to the Verkhovna Rada, which proposes to improve the legislation on mobilization. The business has analyzed it and, unfortunately, many of the provisions still raise questions. After all, the document is a copy of the draft law No. 10378, which the business has already expressed its concern about, in particular, because it contained signs of violation of the Constitution of Ukraine and could have negative consequences for the economy.
The business is convinced that the key task now is to create truly working, balanced, enforceable rules that will not paralyze the work of a part of the country. That is why the European Business Association believes that the above-mentioned draft law should not be adopted, but that it should be revised consciously once again in order not to stop the country and, in particular, its economy.
Yes, all of us in the media can read about the situation with the delivery of subpoenas in the country, and sometimes it seems that this may be done with some violations. And here, the option of serving them remotely is a big question and concern. Another issue is the imposition of restrictions in court. First of all, the judicial system is already extremely overloaded, and if we add these cases to the courts, the issue of the speed of court decisions may become even more serious. Secondly, the country currently needs to do a lot of work in the context of establishing the rule of law, so the rule of law must be applied in such cases, etc. The EBA has prepared several proposals and comments to the draft law, and the above are only a small part of them. So we sincerely hope that they will be taken into account by lawmakers.
We would also like to draw attention to the situation that has gained serious momentum near the borders. For example, law enforcement agencies and territorial centers for recruitment and social support have begun deploying mobile posts in front of checkpoints across the state border of Ukraine. The officers check the documents of truck drivers crossing the border and issue summonses to appear at the Territorial Centers of Recruitment (TCR) and Social Support (SS) to clarify their credentials in accordance with the Law of Ukraine. This leads to additional queues at the state border and panic among the company’s employees who are authorized to carry out the relevant transportation. After all, even if the driver is booked now, the employee may not be booked for several days/weeks before rebooking. Accordingly, they have to come to the TCR to update the information and, according to the experience of the business, such employees are often mobilized without waiting for the decision to extend the reservation. So this situation at the borders leads to, on the one hand, more complicated logistics (and this is a difficult time), and on the other hand, workers have many questions and, at times, panic – even, as already mentioned, among workers authorized to cross the border. So, decency, legality, and clarity in the rules and work must be found. The only effect that can be achieved by this is the loss of trust from international customers, termination of contracts, loss of orders, dismissal of employees, stoppage of production activities of companies in general, as well as a decrease in state budget revenues in terms of taxes and customs payments.
Another issue, in continuation of the previous one, is the issue of booking employees to keep the business running. Thus, according to EBA member companies, it is currently particularly difficult to book critical specialists or experts in the company. At the same time, the country’s economic sector must work at full capacity to meet the needs of the state and the army. Therefore, to create a balance for the proper functioning of the economy in the country, it is important to additionally provide for the reservation of employees who do not belong to critical enterprises, but at the same time actively work and pay taxes to the budget of Ukraine. A similar idea of automatic booking was recently voiced by the Government representatives and was aimed at introducing automatic booking of employees for a month (with monthly extensions), taking into account certain criteria, such as either a certain minimum amount of salary that a person should receive; or payment of a certain amount of personal income tax every month; or other criteria. Such an additional option to the already provided tools for reserving critical employees will expand the category of the reserved able-bodied population, which will have a positive economic effect and will both balance the economic situation in the country and create additional budget revenues for the country’s military needs.
Therefore, the European Business Association appeals to the heads of all relevant committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko to take into account the comments and concerns of business in the context of mobilization legislation. In particular, not to adopt the draft law No. 10449 in the current version without appropriate revisions. In addition, it is necessary to consider the possibility of an additional tool for booking employees and still pay attention to the situation at the checkpoints across the state border of Ukraine.
It is worth noting that businesses have a lot of questions about the country’s economy. Therefore, the community would be grateful to the President of Ukraine for the opportunity to meet and discuss them.