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Mandate of trust, grand cleaning the country and Chernobyl date

Olga Marchuk
economic observer


Head of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov, started next meeting with information about recent events in Parliament, in particular, on attempt of opposition MPs to dismiss current government. Prime minister said that majority of MPs did not support resolution of mistrust to government introduced by opposition fractions

Mykola Azarov stressed that there was full-length, as defined by Regulation of Parliament, discussion of the Cabinet of Ministers activity, and opposition’s attempt to implement formula "the worse - the better" has failed. Instead, government received a mandate of trust to the current course which means a positive opinion about its socio-economic policy. However, Mykola Azarov considers that constructive, professional conversation still failed because of opposition criticism was neither constructive nor informative, nor true.

- Blaming us that government first saved currency reserves and then spends them to fairly pay debts of previous years and to pay expensive – with their own, current opposition efforts, uniquely expensive gas - it is simply destructive misinformation for society. And reproaching us that we have made pension reform, while Ukraine's commitments to the IMF to do so were signed by former Prime Minister – is just immoral, - Mykola Azarov said, adding that despite pressure, we have introduced Pension Reform in the lightest version among all European countries.

He thanked the constructive part of the Supreme Council for support of government and business criticism, noting that issue of improving personal work of the Cabinet of Ministers, heads of central bodies of state power with MPs, committees and fractions are considered as a separate direction of government’s activity. "I am convinced that this work will give a positive result because it is for country’s interest", - said head of the Cabinet of Ministers.

He also informed about results of a nationwide campaign "For clean environment", which was attended by nearly 5.5 million people and more than 353 thousand enterprises, stressing that it was the biggest Environment day since independence. During action streets and roads, parks and gardens, green areas were brought in appropriate state, unauthorized dumps were removed and eliminated, over 2.4 million trees and 526 thousand shrubs were planted, 10 million m2 of lawns and flower beds were sorted out. Mykola Azarov called to continue work of improvement until at least May holidays and instructed heads of regional administrations to ensure scope of work and technical support with utilities services, and volunteers.

Another topic for consideration was the utilities of the country. "There are 334 thousand people working in all our utilities services. With brooms, shovels and calculators. Can they provide a steady perfect order? If there was more than enough work found for 5.5 million people?"- said the Prime Minister. Therefore, in his opinion, it is necessary to create optimal governance structure and maintenance of utilities, equip them with the latest technology in the first place - cleaning and micro technology for urban economy, create inventories of tools and materials for emergency work, where public is involved. For such large-scale plans there has to be "road map" of urban upgrading and housing, agreed with the energy service, road builders, civil builders, water management and local authorities. This work was entrusted to monitor with the Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Vilkul, and at least quarterly government intends to consider its implementation.

Mykola Azarov has once again returned to theme of this year's severe winter, about which he told that "in fact, we have gone through eight winters at the same time". Under these conditions, he called for "no break" to begin preparations for new heating season and generally next winter, making appropriate conclusions from lessons of the past and look forward to the most rigid variant of weather conditions. This should now begin technical revision of all facilities that stopped working under winter mode. This is a task for Minenergycoal, Ministry of Regional Development and heads of regional administrations.

Mykola Azarov draw a particular attention to issues of education and continuous training of personnel responsible for operation of life-supporting objects. He cited data: during heating season this year happened seven explosions of boilers in Donetsk, Lviv, Zhytomyr, Rivne, Zacarpathia and Kyiv regions. Analysis of accident showed that five cases were caused by incompetence of staff, and the other two – were factor of technical failure of boilers equipment. There were also emergency shutdowns in heating supply in almost all regions.

In this regard, Prime Minister instructed the Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Vilkul, Minister of Construction, Regional Development and Housing Gennady Temnik to conduct joint board commissions with regional administrations by the end of May, to prepare for autumn-winter period. Thus Mykola Azarov stressed the need for analysis of regional headquarters work with providing sustainable heating season and planning prevention of accidents and operational restoration works on public infrastructure.

According to Prime Minister, it is necessary to provide planning and repair of boilers and heating systems, complete certification of residential buildings by next winter with checking flue and ventilation ducts, providing maneuverable autonomous resource and reserve sources of energy. It is also necessary to conduct energy audits, design heating circuit in inhabited areas in order to optimize consumption of heat through combination of centralized, moderately centralized, decentralized, autonomous and individual heating systems. To perform the task it was assigned to complete within repairing period the replacement of boiler equipment by technological means of accounting, to create necessary stock of sand, fuel, lubricants, repair materials and equipment, continue work on switching over to alternative fuels.

A law project was considered at the Cabinet meeting about reducing number of permits that food business operator should receive. Document, according to Prime Minister, is aimed at deregulation, simplification of procedures, which resulted, on the one hand, that business conditions in Ukraine will be better, on the other - state will effectively control all factors that could cause danger to life or health of people or environment. They also discussed a law project that increased administrative penalties applicable to officials for braking legal requirements on licensing.

In addition, the Government has considered a series of documents aimed at solving urgent social problems. On this issue they heard report of Social Policy Minister, Natalia Korolevska, on performance of National Action Plan on implementation the reforms in social sphere in 2013, in particular enlarging benefits in social services, prevention of child abandonment, supporting large and poor families.

The Minister also raised social security issue during briefing held at Government House the same day. The main attention was focused on issues of supporting Chernobyl victims, since these days Ukraine marks sad date - 27 years from the Chernobyl accident. Natalie Korolevska stressed the need for systemic policy changes. "First, you need to update law on status and social protection of Chernobyl victims. There are lots of ineffective things that lead to dispersion of resources, such as additional payments of 2-3 UAH. It is better to give them up, and target the money, for example, on health"- said the Minister, adding that it is important to include law of solving "local" issues – on widows of liquidators, children-victims of Chernobyl who are 18 years old and more.

According to Natalie Korolevska, you should see boundaries and status of areas of high contamination, provide targeted approach to maximize use of available funds that each "Chernobyl" hryvnia reaches recipients. For these purposes they are creating a single database, and for greater efficiency and control over expenditure on social protection of Chernobyl victims they plan to concentrate all budget programs and power of social protection within a single executive body. In 2013, social protection for victims of accidents at nuclear power plants provided 11 billion 170 million UAH, but they need more than 88 billion UAH to perform fully “Chernobyl” law for two million people, that is 19.1% of consolidated budget for 2013.

Question of anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster has become a key topic in another minister – of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Oleg Proskuryakov. He stressed that measures to ensure radiation safety are impossible without monitoring radiation in environment. In order to prevent taking radionuclide outside the exclusion zone there is a constant radiation monitoring in transport, cargo control and dosimetryc posts. Results of monitoring showed that during years that have passed since the accident, natural processes and countermeasures to reduce environment contamination, led to a significant improvement of radiological situation.

Head of the State Agency for Management of Exclusion Zone, Vladimir Holosha, informed that normalization of situation with elimination of radioactive waste lies in construction production Complexes "Vector" on decontamination, transportation, processing and waste disposal. The main objects of its infrastructure are ready, and first storages are to be commissioned by the end of 2014. "Vector" will be the single point of processing and disposal of radioactive waste from all over Ukraine. Currently, a major focus of work at Chernobyl nuclear power is conversion of "Shelter" into an ecologically safe system, a milestone of which will be creation of new containment, equipped with all necessary mechanisms to dismantle structures damaged with accident and disposal of radioactive waste.

The head of State Service for Intellectual Property of Ukraine, Mykola Kovinya, told at briefing about priorities of department. The actual issue is combating illegal distribution of intellectual property rights on material media means. Based on results of state inspectors activity in 2012 96 protocols on administrative offenses were drawn up and submitted to court, 26.5 thousand copies of counterfeit goods were collected. In the first quarter of 2013 they conducted 177 inspections of businesses that used intellectual property rights in their activity. According to results 79 protocols on administrative offences were submitted to court, more than 42 thousand copies of counterfeit goods were collected, totaling almost 956 thousand UAH.

Speaking about software legalization in public sector, Mykola Kovinya said: "The budget of Ukraine for 2013 provided 100 million UAH expenditure on measures to legalize software used in executive branch. Today, financing these measures is improving through appropriate means. Thus, in 2013 active state position focused on system software legalization in executive branch". They plan to complete the process in 2015. Estimated cost of legalization is 1.4 billion, and state budget has allocated only 100 million. "It's really a challenge for our budget, but government understands that we must start with ourselves" - summed Mykola Kovinya.

Minister of Culture of Ukraine Leonid Novohatko described government's activities celebrating the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus. They planned primarily to restore monuments of sacral architecture - Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, St. Sophia, St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral in Kiev and St. Catherine's church in Chernihiv, which is even older then St. Kievan. Also they provide for carrying out educational activities in schools and universities. In addition, ministry hopes that this date will be used the most for strengthening positive image of Ukraine in the world, promoting country's history and culture.

Head of department shared good news that, in his opinion, will also contribute to improving image of our country: April 23, in Vienna (Austria), a monument to Ukrainian Cossacks was opened. It was an example of cooperation between administrative structures, artistic forces and business community, a landmark event as it occurred in the 330 year anniversary since time Vienna was saved from Turks by Polish army, consisting of several thousand of Ukrainian Cossacks. "If that didn’t happen, boundaries of today's Europe, confession map of today’s Europe would have been different", - concluded the Minister.

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