IMF urges Ukraine to raise gas prices at home

31 October 2013 16:24
(QHA) - An International Monetary Fund mission visiting Ukraine has urged the government to raise gas prices for domestic consumers and introduce a flexible exchange rate for the national currency, the hryvnia, a Fund official said on Thursday, Reuters reports. Jerome Vacher, the IMF's resident representative in Kiev, told a ratings conference that these were among recommendations made by a Fund team which has just ended a 10-day trip to the ex-Soviet republic. "Measures included a flexible exchange rate, strengthening of the banking system, fiscal adjustment, reform of the energy sector (and) substantial improvement of the business environment," Vacher told the annual Fitch ratings conference. He made clear that by energy reform the IMF meant raising the tariffs for domestic consumers of gas - both industry and households - something long opposed by the government. As reported, previous $15 billion stand-by IMF programme was frozen in early 2011 after Kiev refused to end Soviet-era subsidies and raise prices in the household gas and heating sector.