Chairing the second part of the Ukrainian government’s “expanded session” on August 7, Prime Minister Valery Pustovoytenko again assailed regional administration officials and state enterprise directors whose entities owe back taxes to the state. Pustovoytenko warned the nearly 2,000 attending executives–most of whose organizations presumably owe taxes–that those defaulting on taxes would be summoned to a civil-defense exercise, live in a tent camp and perform menial work. In his capacity as ex-officio head of Ukraine’s civil defense system, the prime minister announced that he has signed an order authorizing the special exercise and the punitive call-up. (Ukrainian TV, AP, August 7 and 8)
On August 5, when the first part of the session was held, Pustovoytenko sequestered 2,200 officials inside the conference hall, extracting some pledges and some actual tax payments to the Pension Fund and the Chornobyl Fund. (See the Monitor, August 7) The government’s intimidation tactics only netted some 65 million hryvnya (approximately US$30 million)–not all of it in cash–worth of back taxes during the entire session. (Eastern Economist Daily [Kyiv], August 10)
KUCHMA SIGNS DEFICIT-CUTTING, TAX-RELIEF DECREES.