“Moskali and our Salo” or as officials continue to rob Ukraine

“Moskali and our Salo” or as officials continue to rob Ukraine

The infection of the PR campaign, it seems, struck not only candidates but also state figures. Recently, the minister of economic development of Ukraine clearly showed it.

The official said that agriculture is the only industry that gives GDP growth in our country (8%). How would you like to believe that the minister is simply sincerely wrong, not deliberately and cynically distorting false information. Despite all the efforts of farmers, the agricultural sector was on the brink of bankruptcy. And, unfortunately, even an effective pace of work can not withstand politicians, swing the pendulum of inflation. As a result of a sharp jump in the dollar, all the necessary materials for agricultural production went up by more than 200%. And this is gas, electricity, gasoline, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, fertilizers, spare parts …

At the same time, the price level for agrarian products remained at the level of last year. Many farmers are forced to sell their grain at a loss – below cost. But it worries officials. They are more worried about the stability of corruption schemes, for example, the same kickback when returning VAT to exporters.

The hopelessness of the situation adds to the inaction of the Antimonopoly Committee and all law enforcement agencies. It seems that in collusion with the trader-exporters who receive the profits, they block natural growth of prices for agricultural products. The size of the loss from such activities is difficult to assess – it’s hundreds of billions of dollars.

It is important to draw attention to one more factor – Russia. By earning political points, our state officials are not the first year to declare that Ukraine should stop “feeding the Muscovites with our lard.” However, they are silent about the fact that it is not necessary for them for a long time. The economy is built not in words, but in cases – these are numbers and results.

Having lost 80% of the Russian food market, Ukraine suffered huge losses. For comparison, in 1991 we produced 51 million tons of grain, while our neighbors are 40-50 million tons. During 23 years of independence Ukraine has maximally improved its result for 5 million tons in 2013 to 56 million tons of grain. During this time, Russia has increased its volume to 92 million tons last year, and this year it already has an increase of 104 million tons. Already these few figures clearly demonstrate how the vanity and politics of our leaders left the tramp on the spot one of the most priority sectors of the country’s economy. To date, Russia is calmly getting markets in the Middle East, South Africa, South-East Asia and China, easily displacing Ukrainian agricultural products. In this situation, the bankruptcy of the industry will come in a few months.

But while hopelessly lost time, only three radical solutions can withstand the situation. First and foremost, this is a dollar rate. It should be brought to the level of 8-9 hryvnia, especially for critical imports. To tell the truth, to date, the course threshold is irrelevant for many industries and types of business that have already died. In our country and now (given the current crisis situation in the economy), this is, in principle, a very relative value that has no relation to reality. But still working industries like agriculture, the dollar at 8-9 hryvnias will give an opportunity to stay afloat and even to grow in its economy.

Secondly, the Antimonopoly Committee and law enforcement agencies need to urgently deal with the issue of import of petroleum products to Ukraine! Who “crumbles” only 3-5 firms, who are allowed to import petroleum products to the country? Where did the more than 200 oil traders who previously supplied petroleum products to Ukraine before coming to power by current top officials? The aforementioned corruption phenomenon leads to an unjustified increase in prices for petroleum products in our country. This arbitrariness must be stopped immediately!

And thirdly, the bureaucracy with permissive documents and the deliberate dumping of prices for agricultural products should be not only foreseen, but applied to the criminal liability of employees of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine and the corresponding, supervising these actions, to law enforcement officers.

Otherwise, we will remember very soon that such a famine is not in the books of history, but in real life!

Public figure, Academician
and Vice-President of the Academy of Economic Sciences of Ukraine

Anatoly Peshko

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