Zelensky promises delayed wages at Ukroboronprom will be paid off soon

Abromavičius says the debts will be settled within six months. REUTERS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has promised that delayed wages at the enterprises incorporated into state-run Ukroboronprom Concern will be paid off soon.

“The state will settle [the debt] – we should do it soon. All the debts at Ukroboronprom’s enterprises [will be paid off],” Zelensky said at a joint meeting with Ukroboronprom CEO Aivaras Abromavičius on November 6.

According to the latter, the total debts of the concern’s enterprises are UAH 10.5 billion (US$423.4 million). Of this amount, the wage backlog of 43 enterprises is estimated at UAH 450 million (US$18.15 million).

If taxes are included, it amounts to UAH 1.1 billion, (US$44.4 million) and further to UAH 1.5 billion (US$60.5 million) if increased pensions are taken into account. Abromavičius noted that the Concern’s new management plans to pay off the arrears within six months.

He also noted that it could be done much earlier if the government decided not to collect dividends, which account for 90% of net profit, from the state enterprises to the national budget.

Also, according to him, the Finance Ministry could write off other debts of Ukroboronprom’s enterprises, which are unlikely to be repaid in the future.

“If the Concern were a holding company, we would not have had any wage arrears, because now we pay UAH 6.5 billion (US$262 million) in taxes per year, plus UAH 1 billion (US$40.3 million) in dividends.

This is absolutely far from the normal situation when the war continues and production facilities require modernization,” he said.

(C)UNIAN 2019

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