Ukrainian Finance Minister Oksana Markarova wants Ukraine to graduate from the IMF program by 2023. That's according to statements made at Hromadske's 5th anniversary What's Next Discussion. The Finance Minister pointed out that this is her "personal ambition."
Ukraine has achieved remarkable things in macroeconomic stability, Markarova said of the progress made in the last five years. That’s thanks to a range of reforms that have curtailed the deficit, restructured Ukraine’s public debt, changed public procurement, and introduced oversight of the energy sector, she said, adding that according to the IMF, Ukraine’s economy has been speeding up despite the overall global slowdown of growth.
But there are still things left to be done. Despite the more than 80 draft laws that have been read by Parliament over the last two months, one major reform still has yet to be implemented – land reform. While it did pass on the first reading of the bill, Markarova admits that she would like to see it, and other remaining reforms, be done quicker.
“The faster you do the reforms, the faster you do them holistically, the faster people can actually see it in their pockets, and then you get the support for the reforms,” she said. “1 or 2 years would be a good time that people are ready to wait, but then you have to show them results.”
However, as ex-Green Party MEP Rebecca Harms pointed out, some reforms, like the potentially historic land reform vote, may not be taking into account enough debate. She adds that while she supports land reform, it shouldn’t be rushed: “You can take the time to discuss, to hear all stakeholders, and to make prudent decisions,” she commented.
“I cannot say that the turbo-regime means that we give something to the [Ukrainian parliament] and they vote,” countered Markarova, addressing criticism of the government’s rapid pace of reform. She says that this sort of pace is necessary due to the lag of reforms during the previous administration, citing the increase of voting days in the parliament. “I think this [parliament] is adopting more, not because they don’t read [the bills], but because they work more…of the 80 laws we’ve discussed, the majority of them have been prepared for years,” Markarova added, stating that her priorities for the next five years is to be the proper implementation of the laws passed.
Hromadske's "What's Next Discussion" was dedicated to five years of Hromadske International's service. If you would like to support Hromadske International, you can donate on this page.