Saturday, February 26, 2005

Ukraine to Change Ideology of Privatisation

KIEV, Ukraine -- The Ukrainian government plans to change the ideology of privatisation in order “not to eat away” the revenue generated by the sale of state property, First Vice Prime Minister Anatoly Kinakh said.

He told journalists on Saturday, “It is unacceptable when all financial gains are directed towards consumption. We will try to make sure that the resources from privatisation go into innovative projects, small and medium-sized business support.”

In his words, the government is finalising a privatisation programme for 2005. It will be based on the transparency of privatisation auctions and equal access to them for all investors, he added.

Kinakh said privatisation revenue in 2005 was expected at 2.5 billion grivnas (almost 500 million U.S. dollars), which is half of what was projected by the previous government in the 2005 budget that will need to be corrected now.

The first vice prime minister confirmed that the national communication operator Ukrtelecom would not be privatised in 2005 because its sale will require “a serious pre-privatisation preparation”.

He said the government was still mulling over the list of property to be sold in 2005.

Kinakh also said that a special working group set up by the Ukrainian government was examining the legitimacy of the privatisation of about 20 enterprises.

“We are scrutinising the privatisation of several companies, including Krivorozhstal (metallurgical mill) and energy-related ones,” he said.

According to Kinakh, “The government will not allow the situation to slide to the re-division of property.”

He promised that the government would “protect the rights of owners”.

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