11:34 20.11.2017

Ukraine, IMF to continue discussion on achieving deficit of 2018 budget of 2.5% of GDP

Ukraine, IMF to continue discussion on achieving deficit of 2018 budget of 2.5% of GDP

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ukrainian authorities will continue negotiations discussing the bill on the national budget of Ukraine for 2018 aiming to achieve its deficit of 2.5% of GDP.

"Discussions will continue in the coming weeks to ensure that the approved budget is consistent with the 2.5% of GDP deficit target agreed under Ukraine's IMF-supported program," the IMF said in a press release after the IMF staff team visited Kyiv during November 9-17, 2017 for technical discussions on the draft 2018 budget.

As reported, the four-year EFF program launched by the IMF in March 2015, in the total amount of SDR 12.348 billion (around $17.25 billion), initially involved quarterly reviews of the program, with the first tranche of $5 billion, and the next three, SDR 1.18 billion each (around $1.65 billion), to be paid during 2015, and decreasing quarterly tranches to SDR 0.44 billion ($0.61 billion) in 2016-2018.

Ukraine was able to receive, with a slight delay, the second tranche, $1.7 billion, under this program, in early August 2015, followed by a lengthy pause because of the country's failure to meet a number of conditions, political crisis and changes in the government.

Since the arrival of a new government led by Volodymyr Groysman in April 2016 talks over continued funding have resumed but it was not until mid-September that the IMF decided to allocate the third tranche, $1 billion. The fourth tranche was received on April 3, 2017.

The IMF has not yet determined the date for arrival of its mission to Ukraine for the fourth review of the EFF program that would open a way to receive the fifth tranche.

The IMF continues studying the law on pension reform passed by the Verkhovna Rada.

In addition, for the completion of the fourth review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Ukraine should adopt legislation on the creation of an anti-corruption court, reform the privatization of state-owned enterprises to make it transparent and based on market mechanisms and revise domestic tariffs for gas in line with earlier approved formula.

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