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Lawmakers in Ukraine back austerity law for draft budget

Lawmakers in Ukraine back austerity law for draft budget

The final reading of an austerity law has been approved by the Ukrainian Parliament. The law would make tax legislation easier and impose additional duties on imports in a bid to raise revenue to help the country’s economic crisis.

Press TV reports: During the voting session on Sunday, the government supported the law needed for draft budget, saying higher import duties will generate over $1 billion and is crucial for next year’s draft budget, which is already predicted to show a deficit of 3.7 percent of GDP.

Some of the MPs raised concern about the hiking prices, arguing that many people are struggling to make a living.

Kiev is entitled to receive a new tranche of financial aid under a $17 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package provided the parliament approves the budget.

Speaking to parliamentarians, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk admitted that higher import duties would make it difficult for foreign firms to sell their products in Ukraine.

“Problems could arise with our trade partners,” he said, suggesting that the law should only come into effect once the government talks it over with international partners.

In April, the IMF approved to grant the struggling Ukrainian government a two-year $17.1-billion loan package. Ukraine has so far received two tranches of the financial aid, worth a total of $4.6 billion.