While the President was chilling out in Bukovel and violating lockdown restrictions by not wearing a mask (at the time when law-abiding Ukrainians were staying at home), the Government made an important decision on procuring COVID-19 vaccines and allowed to use the ‘leftovers’ from lockdown compensation fund in 2021. Also, the provision on the language in customer service from the Law on the State Language has come into force.
Cabinet approved funding procedure for purchasing COVID-19 vaccines
Decision-maker: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: the Ministry of Health, the state enterprise Medical Procurement of Ukraine, CROWN AGENTS LIMITED, and Ukrainian citizens.
What does it change:
- a special procedure for procuring the COVID-19 vaccines was approved. It allows using near ₴1.4 bln from the COVID fund to buy the vaccines
- a specialized agency authorized to procure the vaccines is the international non-profit company CROWN AGENTS LIMITED which has procured medications for Ukraine earlier
- the funding procedure provisions that ₴1.4 bln can be used to pay for the vaccines, services of CROWN AGENTS LIMITED, shipping, and bank services.
What is right: since the funding procedure for purchasing the COVID-19 vaccines has been approved, now it is possible to start negotiations with manufacturers and procurement procedures.
What is wrong:
- Ukraine trails far behind other European countries when it comes to vaccination. While the neighboring countries actively immunize their citizens, the Ukrainian Government only makes preparations to start the procurement
- the Cabinet removed the state enterprise Medical Procurement of Ukraine from the process although the company was created for just such purposes.
Unused funding for COVID-related compensations will be distributed in 2021
Decision-maker: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: the Ministry of Social Policy, the Pension Fund, and Ukrainian citizens.
What does it change: in the government budget-2020 the Cabinet allocated funds to provide aid for Ukrainians that lost their income because of the lockdown. The program ended on January 1 and the Government allowed to use the remaining ₴201 mln in 2021.
What is right: people that have the right to receive financial aid from the state will receive it and thus will suffer less damage from the consequences of the lockdown.
What’s next: the Government will transfer money to the Pension Fund via the Ministry of Social Policy. The Pension Fund has to submit an aggregated request for money transfer and then distribute a one-time financial aid.
Provision on language in customer service came into force
Decision-maker: the Verkhovna Rada.
Who is affected: people living in Ukraine, businesses, and the Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language.
What does it change: Article 30 of the Law on the State Language has come into force. It provisions that customer service and information about goods and services have to be provided in Ukrainian (the state language). At the same time, on the client’s demand, any other language can be used if the seller knows it. The penalty for violating this law is a warning from the Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language or a fine (from ₴5 100 to ₴6 800) for a repeated violation within a year.
What is right: the law implements constitutional provisions that the state language has to function in all spheres of social life and allows people to use other languages in customer service if the client so wishes.
To know more about the Law on the State Language and whether it infringes human rights, please read a blog by our analyst Nazar Zabolotnyi New language rule: key points.
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