The Incomes and Fees Ministry proposes to set 1% levy to the Pension Fund on cashless foreign currency purchase by entities, engaged in foreign economic activities. This is stated in the bill, initiating changes in the law on levy for compulsory state pension insurance, published on the Ministry’s website.

It is assumed that the entry into force of the bill will help to significantly reduce the chronic deficit of the Pension Fund, without causing significant damage to the volume of imports. "Incomes from the levy will not fully cover the deficit of the Pension Fund, but will reduce it significantly," senior analyst at the International Advanced Research Center Oleksandr Zholud said in interview.

"Income from the levy will be at least 1% of the volume of imports of goods and services in Ukraine. According to the National Bank, in 2012, the latter reached $ 104.5 billion. Respectively, last year's levy would bring to the Pension Fund budget at least $ 1 billion, or more than 8 billion UAH. Moreover, the PF deficit last year would formally amounted to 11.1 billion UAH. So, the proposed fee could cover three-quarters of a formal deficit of the Pension Fund in the past year," analyst explained.
However, Zholud admits that the business may not agree with the extra load. First of all, the banks will oppose the initiative. Introduction of the levy will increase the margin from less than 5 kopecks per dollar up to 8 kopecks.

In other words, innovation will increase the cost of exchange transactions on the interbank market, which is why the purchase of non-cash foreign currency will become less attractive for legal entities-bank customers. As a result, part of the non-cash foreign exchange transactions can go into the shadows - in an operation using offshore or in cash transactions, which will lead to a decrease in market liquidity. By the way, the restriction of the "white" market, in turn, could provoke hryvnia devaluation, experts fear.

"In addition, the proposal to introduce this fee may displease the International Monetary Fund, with which Ukraine is in talks about a new stand-by loan. A similar levy, regarding not only non-cash, but foreign cash purchase as well, operated since 1998. However, the government was forced to abandon it under pressure from the IMF, which since 2006 insisted on a more free hryvnia exchange rate with no restrictions on foreign exchange transactions," analyst says.


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