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For several years, the promise of granting Ukraine visa-free regime with the European Union remains in the country’s wishlist. And consequently, in 2017 the authorities again promised that Ukrainians will travel without visas. That is how Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman sees the situation.
"It is obvious that it will be introduced in 2017, but we cannot call the exact date; we should wait for a response from the European officials," said the head of government.
Pension reform is no less often promised issue. And significant changes might take place this year. Groisman said that the pension system in Ukraine is unfair and moreover, it produces poverty.
"The pension system today requires real changes and reforms. And we would offer Ukrainian society such changes. I believe those changes would be objectively correct; they would yield the confidence and security of Ukrainian citizens," he said.
Prime Minister noted that this would be the systemic reform of the pension system, which will be accompanied by raising pensions, and the Pension Fund deficit will be reduced.
The promise of economic growth can be called traditional one. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has emphasized on it.
"I am convinced that our main task for the next year would be creation of appropriate political conditions in order to secure economic growth and deepen the reforms," Poroshenko noted.
Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Stepan Kubiv call specific numbers.
"In 2017, we expect GDP growth of 3%. We say that there are prerequisites indicating on such growth. Even something more than growth. Because we witness the development in all areas of economic activity," he said.
In addition, the minister promised that in 2017 Ukraine will rise by 15-20 steps in the World Bank's Doing Business ranking.
"Together with the office of effective response, we have elaborated a comprehensive bill, which, together with the existing changes, will Ukraine by 15-20 positions in the ranking," Stepan Kubiv stated.
The head of the National Bank Valeria Gontareva predicts in January-February 2017 Ukraine would receive fourth tranche of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program (the EFF Extended Fund).
"We hope that at the beginning of next year we will see a meeting of directors, and at the beginning of next year, in January and February, we will get the tranche," she claimed.
Following the recent increase in the minimum wage, Ukrainians are said that their lives might be even better. Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Rozenko said that the increase of social standards in 2017 depends on the success of the legalization of the labor market.
"As we look for opportunities to further increase of the social standards, pensions, wages, and the like during the fiscal year. But it depends on how effectively we can meet the challenge of 3200 UAH, and how soon will we legalize the labor market, wages, and get additional funds to the Pension Fund and to the state budget of Ukraine," he said.
The officials also promised to repair the roads. Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Volodymyr Omeljan says that in addition to the roads, Ukraine also planned to renovate bridges.
"We plan to renovate at least 2-2,5 thousand km of the roads and about 80 bridges," he assumed.
The state will not be involved in spirit industry after 2017. Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Taras Kutovyi is sure that "Ukrspirt" will be privatized very soon.
"The stage of the state alcohol production comes to an end in the end of 2017. Spirit industry will belong to the private owners exclusively. In such a way we encourage customers to participate in the privatization," he said.
The Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko promised to destroy the Soviet model of the Prosecutor General's Office (GPU) and create a State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).
"The investigation should be performed by the State Bureau of Investigation, not by the General Prosecutor's Office. This will put an end the absolute power of the GPU, leaving its usual functions of procedural management and maintenance of the prosecution in the courts. If we create State Bureau of Investigation in January, it will start its work in the next November. I hope so. Then by the end of the year we would get a workable structure. And finally the Soviet model, when the investigator and prosecutor negotiate in the same office, will be destroyed," he stated.
Ukraine might face one more judicial change. The deputy head of the Presidential Administration Oleksiy Filatov says that the new Supreme Court will be formed in the spring of 2017.
"The Supreme Court shall be formed by the end of March 2017 and start working in the same period. The requirements to the candidates are quite high. Even the process of application is not that simple. We are talking about a full declaration of the property, integrity declaration, declaration of kinship," said Filatov.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says that this year all the interregional registration-examination departments of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate (MREO) will be eliminated, and they will be replaced with the modern service centers.
"We expect that we will complete the process of updating the service centers and introduction of the new system by the spring of next year (2017 - Ed.)," the minister said.
The Ministry of Finance would also begin a "war." Minister of Finance of Ukraine Olexander Danyluk said that the tax police will be eliminated and replaced by the Financial Police.
"Tax Police definitely must be eliminated. In parallel, we should create a new institution, which would be really effective. I mean Financial Police," he claimed.
The environmental field will also face some changes. Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Ostap Semerak promised that Ukraine will create the State Environmental Service instead of the State Ecological Inspectorate.
"I will offer to members of the Cabinet of Ministers to take to State environmental service new people, and not to conduct any re-attestation. It should be only new people with new motivation, new training, new functions. Of course, this decision depends on political will of my colleagues from the government," he said.
The Ministry of Health, promises to carry out the reform of the health system and the long-awaited completion of Specialized Children’s Hospital (“OKHMATDET”). And about. Associated Health Minister Ulyana Suprun said that one of the buildings might open in the summer of 2017.
“We changed strategy and now will lead the construction, following the queues. First of all, we want to complete the construction of diagnostic building "D." We plan to do it in April and open it in the summer, possibly in July. The body already has the foundation, cellar and expensive equipment "is already installed in the basement,” she said.
This year the Ministry of Justice intends to implement the changes, which include the opening of shops in the prisons.
"This year, we will opens some small shops in the prisons. Currently, we conduct negotiations with the suppliers. In the current year, we will launch the shops within the prison system," said Deputy Minister of Justice Denys Chernyshov.
Ukraine’s occupied territories is a separate issue. For example, Deputy Minister for the temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons, George Tuka says that this autumn Ukraine to start the release of Donbas from the militants.
"I have the distinct impression that this fall we will have the opportunity to start a real process of return of Donbas territories. I really hope that it will happen in nonmilitary way," he said.
But the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Andriy Parubiy promises to achieve the introduction of the visa regime with Russia.
"I hope that the next year we will be able to agree on the introduction of visa regime with Russia. I would personally look after this question. I would do my best for it found support in the session hall," Paruby noted.