IMF Managing Director expects Ukraine to complete all prior actions for SBA before Dec 10
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde has reaffirmed the positive and cooperative relationship between Ukraine and positively assessed the status of the preparation of the new Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for the country, announcing the possibility of convening the meeting of the Executive Board of the IMF for its approval in December 2018.
"All prior actions are expected to be completed by the Ukrainian authorities by December 10, 2018, and a meeting of the Executive Board to discuss the Stand-By Arrangement would be convened promptly after that," Lagarde said in a statement after holding a telephone conversation late on Thursday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
She said that the key parameters of Ukraine's national budget for 2019 are currently under review by IMF staff. She said that the preliminary assessment is satisfactory and the process is expected to be completed shortly.
In addition, Lagarde and Poroshenko explored possible technical assistance from the IMF to strengthen tax administration and make the tax system more growth friendly while assuring debt sustainability.
"We reaffirmed the positive and cooperative relationship between Ukraine and the IMF," she said.
As reported, on October 19, 2018, the International Monetary Fund and Ukraine had reached an agreement on a new 14-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) that is to replace the IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF) that was approved in March 2015 and is coming to an end in March 2019. The new SBA, with a requested access of SDR 2.8 billion (equivalent to $3.9 billion), will provide an anchor for the authorities' economic policies during 2019.
The Verkhovna Rada last week passed a bill on the national budget of Ukraine for 2019 with the deficit within 2.3% of Ukraine's GDP in accordance with the recommendations of the IMF. The document is pending the analysis by the IMF if it meets the arrangements achieved.
In addition, the National Commission for the State Regulation of Energy, Housing and Utilities Services (NCER) is to review tariffs for heat for heat supply companies after the increase in the price of natural gas for households and heat supply companies by 23.5% from November 1, 2018.