The crisis in the manufacturing industry started long before the epidemic and worsened during the quarantine. Still, the government has offered no solutions on support for industrial sector. According to MP Serhiy Lovochkin, the amendments to the budget bill that are to be introduced in the parliament’s upcoming session must be considered together with proposals from the Anti-crisis plan drafted by OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE aimed at industrial manufacturing sector support.
“Back in February, before the new government was appointed, the president and his faction spoke of the need to strengthen and support the industrial sector. Everybody realized back then that the industry is in deep crisis. But the Cabinet has been replaced, the industry sector has not been supported, and no support is offered now. The most recent draft of anti-crisis amendments to the budget doesn’t provide it either, but it’s obvious that the quarantine will speed up the deterioration in the sector,” the politician said.
He reminded that the manufacturing industry dropped by 3.1 percent in January-February compared to the same period in 2019. Mining sector slid by 4.3 percent, refining sector by 1.4 percent, energy and housing sectors by 7.1 percent. The industry altogether has shortened by 4.5 percent over the past two years.
The MP cited data on other shortenings in manufacturing volumes: transport engineering slid by 18.1 percent in January-February 2020, coal industry by 17.3 percent, electronics by 15.6 percent, metallurgy by 7.3 percent, pharmacy by 6.8 percent. This resulted in wage arrears reaching 3.02bln hryvnia as of early March, with three quarters of the amount coming from the manufacturing industry.
“The previous amendments draft included a proposal to allocate funds for the industrial manufacturing sector, i.e. 1.6bln hryvnia for salaries to miners. This is a good proposal, and it must be passed, but this is not the way to support the manufacturing industry,” the politician said.
“OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE has proposed its Anti-crisis plan that must be taken as a basis for the amendments to the budget. It provides details on which sectors of economy need the most support and where to get it. At the time when the international labor market is almost gone, Ukraine is facing a huge number of unemployed people. There are only two ways to create jobs for millions of our citizens: to restore the manufacturing industry and to develop small business. Therefore, we ask the Cabinet to include our anti-crisis proposals to the budget amendments. Many of our unemployed citizens need these,” Lovochkin said.Follow @serhiylovochkin