12:31 17.10.2017

IMF have not discussed date for mission to Kyiv - IMF First Deputy Managing Director

IMF have not discussed date for mission to Kyiv - IMF First Deputy Managing Director

 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not yet discussed the date for the next mission coming to Kyiv within the fourth review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program, IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton has said.

"We have not discussed the date for the mission. Rather we have been focused on discussion of the policy steps needed to be able to move forward," he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

He said that the main objective of the program in Ukraine at this stage is to move from stabilization to structural reforms. For example, there is a benchmark on creation of the anticorruption court, he said.

"What is important for us and what was agreed during my visit was that there would be the creation of an anticorruption entity that satisfied key principles; that would be efficient and effective. For us efficiency and effectiveness means very importantly that the selection process for judges who will serve on that entity be sound, ensuring their integrity and professional quality," Lipton said.

"There is also a benchmark that has to do with the privatization legislation and our people are looking at that legislation," he said.

"In addition to these reforms, to move forward, there are also some questions about whether past reforms are being maintained and carried through. One area is gas tariffs and the gas system," Lipton said.

"There has been some discontent about the lack of progress in improving governance at Naftogaz. One of the major accomplishments of the program has been that the gas system has been improved, the gas subsidies removed, and finances of the gas system normalized… Another part is about the routine adjustment of gas tariffs. Once you get the elimination of the implicit subsidies that were provided before, tariffs have to move with international market prices," he said.

As for the pension reform, Lipton recalled that the IMF has agreed with the Ukrainian government the principles that the pension reform will be based on.

"Those included budgetary savings and making sure that the pensions for those who retire will really provide a decent standard of living. We had not a chance to look at the final legislation yet. What we will be looking at is whether the principles that we have laid down are reflected in the final bill," he said.

The IMF intends to study the details of the draft national budget for 2018.

"Hitting budget targets is not an easy thing and obviously depends also on how robust the economy is. We will be looking whether the budget is strong enough under these circumstances," Lipton said.

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