President Petro Poroshenko has announced that the government will increase expenditures on repair and construction of roads in the country, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.
"About UAH 6 billion was spent exclusively on construction of roads in Ukraine two years ago. We joined forces last year, when part of the funds was spent on servicing the loans that were previously obtained and UAH 10 billion was spent directly on construction of roads. However, we have set the task of spending UAH 20 billion on road construction this year and UAH 30 billion next year. This is the dynamics that I want to see in Ukraine," Poroshenko said during a working trip to the Kharkiv region.
According to Poroshenko, every square meter of road in the Kharkiv region has a multi-year warranty from the construction company.
He stressed the importance of holding transparent tenders for to ensure efficient use of budgetary funds, as well as the need for law enforcement bodies to pay close attention to this process.
"I have spoken with the prime minister and the government, and I want to emphasize that we have an absolutely united position. My instruction to the minister of finance is to urgently amend the budget to ensure that the first amount of money, the first tenders, and the first payments take place in August and not in December," Poroshenko said.
Previously, the government expected to triple funding for road infrastructure to UAH 30 billion in 2017 compared with 2016. UAH 15 billion was expected to be provided from the budget and another UAH 15 billion from “re-profiling” of the government bonds held by the National Bank of Ukraine.
However, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said on August 9 that the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank of Ukraine were unable to reach agreement on the “re-profiling” of the government bonds and that the additional funds for financing road construction would come from surplus revenues from customs duties. According to Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian, UAH 10 billion was spent on the Ukrainian road industry in 2016 out of the amount of about UAH 20 billion that the government announced.
According to the Ukravtodor state road agency, the annual amount necessary for financing roads in the country is estimated at no less than UAH 60 billion.