14:23 16.11.2012

Media: Finance Ministry suing NTCU for repayment of loan given 16 years ago

3 min read

The trade union of the National Television Company of Ukraine (NTCU) has said that the company is on the verge of bankruptcy and that its employees could lose their jobs, according to Telekritika.

The trade union said in an address that the Ukrainian Finance Ministry had filed a lawsuit against the NTCU and is demanding the payment of UAH 25 million, which should be used to repay from the state budget a loan given to the company in 1996 as part of cooperation between Ukraine and Japan. According to the trade union, because of this the company's management refused to celebrate the Day of Employees of Radio, Television and Communications.

The newspaper noted that in 2003, former NTCU President Oleksandr Savenko told Telekritika that the Japanese loan, worth $13.5 million, was taken in 1996 for the purchase of technical equipment, which is now outdated.

The company's director general, Egor Benkendorf, told the newspaper that this issue would be resolved soon.

He said that in accordance with the agreements, part of the Japanese loan should have been paid by the NTCU, using its own funds, and the rest by the Finance Ministry as part of the financing of public television and radio companies.

"Over the entire period of my management of the company, we consistently found the funds to repay our part of the loan, and we are planning to repay it in full by the end of 2012," Benkendorf said.

However, he said that there was misunderstanding with the other part of the loan, which was to be reimbursed by the state.

"Formally, the repayment scheme should be as follows: the Finance Ministry allocates the necessary amount of funds to NTCU from the state budget, and says what these funds should be spent on, while NTCU, after the actual receipt of this amount, returns it back to the state budget. Such a repayment scheme was originally defined by a respective resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. However, the state, through court, actually burdened NTCU with the second part of the loan again and added a fine to this amount, and is demanding that these funds ne returned in the near future," he said.

He said that this amount exceeds UAH 23 million and that NTCU has no opportunity to allocate it.

"Compulsory measures on the recovery of this amount will simply stop the work of the television company," Benkendorf said.

Telekritika said it had not yet received any comments on this issue from the Cabinet of Ministers.