Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Victor Bondar told reporters on Monday Victor Yushchenko was going to hold a series of meetings to address the country’s most pressing problems, among them the issues of VAT rebates, privatisation and gas supplies, the president press office reported.

“There is a truly critical situation with VAT rebates in the regions,” he said. “So the President decided to meet with the Finance Minister, the Head of the Tax Administration, the governors and Ukraine’s biggest exporters,” he said.

Due to numerous requests concerning the list of companies that will be privatized in 2007, the President will also convene a meeting to discuss this issue, he added.

“We are now working with each region to make such lists [of companies that will be auctioned], revise privatization plans for 2006 and oversee the implementation of this year’s plan. The meeting will result in significant decisions,” he promised.

Bondar also said the President would soon meet with the leadership of Ukraine’s Energy Ministry and heads of the country’s leading energy companies.

“Unfortunately, the problem has become critical, and we see no adequate steps taken by the Energy Ministry and state-run energy companies to stabilize the situation [ with gas supplies ] in the regions,” he said.

Bondar said the President also demanded a financial monitoring of regional law enforcement agencies and courts be conducted because next year's budget seemsto providelittle money for theirneeds.


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