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Parliament approved revised national budget with 1.5 billion UAH for Public broadcaster

14.04.2020, 16:50
Photo credit: 112.international
Photo credit: 112.international

On April 13, at an extraordinary session the Verkhovna Rada approved amendments to the Law on the national budget for 2020, which, in particular, provided 1.5 billion UAH (reduced by 178 million UAH) for the financial support to the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, as  Detektor Media reported.

252 MPs voted in favor of the bill, finalized by the Budget Committee in the first reading. The law as a whole "with the necessary technical and legal changes" - 249 MPs. The document was approved mainly by MPs from “Servant of the People”and “Dovira” group.

Changes to the budget include, among other things, cuts on the budget programs of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy and affiliated to it Agency of State Film and State Television and Radio Broadcasting Committee, including:

  • Ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund provided for UAH 400 million, reduced by UAH 296 million.The revision of the budget for the Ukrainian Cultural Fund (UCF) allocated more money, as according to the initial reading of the budget had only 250 million UAH for UCF.
  • State support for cinematography - UAH 455 million is envisaged, reduced by UAH 303 million.These are the same changes as in the first version of the government bill.
  • Grants of the President of Ukraine for young artists for the creation and realization of creative projects in cinematography and awards for outstanding cinematography achievements - UAH 200 thousand is provided, reduced by UAH 3.9 million.These are the same changes as in the first version of the government bill. The proposal of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy to keep the grants in full has not been adopted.
  • Production (creation) and distribution of patriotic films - provided 0, reduced by 50 million UAH.These are the same changes as in the first version of the government bill. The proposal of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy to save these funds to fulfill the commitments of the Ministry of Culture under the 2018 Pitching has not passed.
  • Support of the activities of the Ukrainian Book Institute, supporting book publishing and promoting Ukrainian literature in the world - UAH 100 million is foreseen, reduced by UAH 51 million.During the revision of the budget for the Institute, they allocated more money for it, because the first variant of the changes suggested only 50 million UAH for the Ukrainian Boiok Institute.

Overall, expenditures of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine are reduced by 7.2 billion UAH compared to expenditures of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The new state budget allocates nearly 8.2 billion UAH for expenditures of the Ministry of Culture (against 15.4 billion UAH in the previous version of the budget). Part of the expenditures of the Ministry of Culture went to the newly established Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine: 2.2 billion UAH are supposed to be the budget of this new Ministry for this year.

At the same time, the new budget has no provision on Public Procurement in 2020 when using state budget funds to provide state support to ATR (Atlant-SV Television Company LLC). We should remind, in 2020 the state departments agreed to ensure state support for the ATR channel only if the tender procedures were completed, but the channel was not ready to do it.

As IMI reported, on March 25 the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy announced that the Ministry of Finance is preparing amendements to the state budget, in particular, cutting funding for all activities of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. They remain only maintenance costs, that is, salary.

On March 27, the National Public Television and Radio Company of Ukraine (NPTU) addressed the government with a letter saying that a decrease in funding could lead to a total shutdown of the Public Broadcasting Company.

The Public broadcaster asks the government not to reduce the costs of the broadcasting company and to reconsider its intentions to reduce cultural spending.

On March 30, the Verkhovna Rada at an extraordinary meeting did not support in the first reading the draft government amendments to the Law "On the Nationanl Budget for 2020", which included, in particular, financial support of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine in the amount of 1.5 billion UAH (reduced by 178 million UAH ).

On March 30, the Prime Minister Denis Shmygal said that the National Bank of Ukraine allocated an additional 300 million UAH, that is, the budget of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine in 2020 will amount to UAH 1.5 billion.

UAH 1 billion 711 million 516 thousand UAH was earmarked for the financing of NPTU in 2020, which is by UAH 300 million less than stipulated by the Law on Public Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine.

On February 28, Public broadcaster reported that on February 18, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine initiated enforcement proceedings on the recovery of Public Debt in the amount of 10 million 591 thousand 224 euros 48 cents and 73 080 UAH court fee (together this is 308 million UAH) in favor of the joint stock company "Euronews".

On March 10, the National Public Television and Radio Company of Ukraine (NSTU) appealed to the newly elected government to resolve the issue of blocking the company's accounts and withholding salaries to the employees of the Public.

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