Friday, February 27, 2009

Seven legal ways of stealing from budget

1. "Make an order".
Speed limiters, for instance. Do you know why they appeared recently? And why they are being mounted three or even four in a row? The answer is very simple: capital authorities pay Uah 50000 for mounting the single one, while wholesale cost of it is Uah 300. They earn 100 times including installations maintenance. Sudden replacement of old traffic lights that took place all over Kiev hardly could be explained by sudden care of pedestrians ‘cause no "zebra" markings were refreshed .

2. "Guarantees".
In the state budget of 2007 Uah 4,7 billions expenses had been claimed. Those money had been guaranteed to one large state company that should repair roads. What was possible to take had been taken. We are speaking about $1 billions credit that should be secured by state guarantees - ostensibly roads lining and improving. Credits been taken, roads "repaired". The head of Counting Chamber has told in this occasion: "The audit of financing of building Kiev-Odessa highway taken by us has shown, that the total sum of inefficiently used money has exceeded Uah 1 billions. The price of kilometre of a highway multiplied nine times". Speaking of roads - if in Kiev, not mentioning other cities of Ukraine, you will see a straight piece of road - go round. Such memory should be honoured.

3. "Layer".
Nobody writes and talks about it, but such things happen. Some big state company ordered the equipment abroad. It was bought not at the manufacturer, but at a foreign firm that purchases the necessary equipment, and resells it gaining 10-20 %. But if you would call there you would hear Russian voice. And as the equipment - boring, costs over $1 billions you would tell, who the customer is. By the way, RosUkrEnergo is a kind of such pattern.

4. "The fictitious order".
In 2007 one state company has paid to the lawyer firm for Uah 49 million. They had their own law department, by the way. Plus maintaining of charter flights, wheels for Uah 1 million, bonuses and awards to top management. The budget relates directly here because losses of such companies are to be covered by its means.

5. "VAT compensation".
Company "A" buys from company "B" some goods for sum Х + the VAT. Then "A" provides tax inspection the statement (with tax waybills from “B” attached) about compensation of the sum of the VAT. Then “B”, declares itself bankrupt the next day (“firm for a day"). At good mutual understanding of all connected people this scheme works like clock-work. Until it is not found, that for the accounting period there had been received less, than paid.

6. "Grants".
Grants is a real piece of cake. Grants in Ukraine go basically for the coal-mining and agrarian industry. For agrarian - Uah 10 billions is proovided. It is not necessary to investigate any schemes - simply visit any Ukrainian village. If direct manufacturers of agricultural production would just have seen at least a half of that money - they would be carried by personal drivers to their fields and farms. And , apparently, in 2009 the servants of people will simply give to the enterprises from the budget so much, how many it is necessary for them, and will name it "the state support of real sector of domestic economy".

7. However the biggest robbery took place recently. Astonishing sum of money was stolen. Incomes of the budget in 2008 - $46 billions (Uah 231 billions. At the rate of 5,05 hryvnas for a dollar); incomes of the budget in 2009 - $30 billions (Uah 239 billions. At the rate of 8,0 hryvnas for a dollar). The difference is $16 billions...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Global crisis as Russians see it

The corridors in office buildings have either pluses or minuses. Let’s not speak about minuses but about pluses. Everybody knows each other; you can hear helloes, greetings, goodmornings.

But the last few months silence dominates here.

Crowds of clients just disappeared, nobody enters and asks:”Sorry, where can I find?..” , there are no more strangers smoking in common rest rooms, girls from nearby offices don’t rush in asking to change money for a change. The director of real estate office drooped off, you can’t hear scissors and hairdryers from a hairdressing salon, and women from the office you never could spell its name frequently hang “Closed for today” card. People drink a lot in the offices and it’s impossible to breathe in smoking areas. Visits of Santa and parties had been cancelled this year.

But the worst thing is to see batches of papers dumped on the floor in the corridor near wide opened doors. And movers that bring the furniture out make you to shiver. Another one is shut down…

The horror invisibly creeps on street, crawls into apartments, scatters its wings over factories, lasts on market counters, invisibly, but persistently sweaps supermarket shelves. It horror eliminated glance colours from local newspapers, and has hanged out papers on columns and fences that read: « Will sell! Will sell!! Will sell!!!»

The silent horror cut out words "normally and"perfectly" from our everyday conversations and pasted cautious
"while" and “so far” instead.

The former schoolmate whom I hadn’t seen for 15 years asked me not about my family and our pals but shouted the foolish request to write about “this son of a bitch, my boss, who stopped paying four months ago”. He thought that would matter. Sorry, lad, I will not write, that doesn’t makes sence. And he told me in a back – “fat bustard”. I ran away with no offence, and not being insulted, but ashamed. For what, for whom?

The silent horror has crept in hospitals, the horror laps in the eyes of people near the drugstore; the horrorible article about reduction of salaries for state employees has pulled off a habitual smile from the face of the familiar doctor and “Crap...” rushed out from his mouth. The horror flies over factory checkpoints like some disgusting swallow causing workers either to grab and punch their director or turn around and just go away. The horror flows from the eyes of crowd that stands near the Employment Centre boards as they see vacancies constantly disappearing. And disgusting faces from the capital government – they know what they are doing, but still keep going on.