KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s parliament approved changes to the 2023 state budget on Tuesday, raising state spending to support small businesses and channel more funds into reconstruction and recovery projects following Russia’s invasion.
Roksolana Pidlasa, the head of the parliamentary budget committee, said spending had been increased by 5.5 billion hryvnias ($150 million).
The increase included funds to finance and modernise hospitals in the capital Kyiv and the western city of Lviv, and to rebuild bridges damaged in Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The amended budget also plans for 1.28 billion hryvnias in additional support for small businesses in the processing industry and state guarantees for loans in the agriculture sector.
Almost a year of war has ravaged Ukraine’s public finances, leading to double-digit inflation, higher unemployment, a sharp fall in exports and big losses in revenue and tax income.
Ukraine’s budget deficit this year is expected to be about $38 billion. The government plans to cover the deficit with Western foreign aid.
The finance ministry has said the budget received 35.8 billion hryvnias from tax revenues and 31.5 billion hryvnias from customs in January. The government also received 155.24 billion hryvnias in foreign aid last month.
($1 = 36.5686 hryvnias)
(Reporting by Olena Harmash, Editing by Timothy Heritage)