Not often Bloomberg has such a misleading headline – Ukraine

June 29, 2010

Well dear readers, the Ukrainian government is set to reduce its involvement in Ukrainian economics to 20 – 25%


Yeh – misleading isn’t it?

It plans to cut State owned assets to 20 – 25% only!  It does not plan to make cuts where it is really needed.

What is really needed is the cut of beaurocracy and therefore personnel in the State Organs……which would automatically reduce the corrupt practices here via less grabbing hands…….as most corruption is related to fighting (read bribing) your way through the mostly unnecessarily difficult administrictive hurdles.

Cutting 50% of the beaurocracy here may sound quite draconion…..and even a dangerous step towards lack over governmental oversight if you are to apply it to your home nation……..but here (as in Russia) an entire week can be spent going to 10 different locations around a city getting 10 different documents you need to…..get a document to allow you to do something that is completely unregulated anywhere in the West.

Generating those 10 documents (to get the 11th document you actually need) normally employs one State employee to give you the form, another (and different State employee) to check the form when you have completed it and a third (and again different State employee) to sign and stamp it. ……of course only 1 emplyee could do the whole job.

Further frustrating the process is if one is absent from work that day for whatever reason as nobody else can…..or will……do their job in their absense. 

If someone is absent at any stage during the obtaining of any of the 10 (or even 11th) documents then of course there is a delay until that person returns to work…….meaning it can take months to obtain a document…….unless you are prepared to pay a little “fee” for someone else to do their job as well.

Therefore, the best reduction in the econimics of Ukraine by the government would be removing 50% of the beaurocracy and simultaneously then, removing 50% of the petty corruption that goes with it.  Will this happen? – Not a chance…….at least as far as reduction in personnel.  I live in hope that this government will actually remove some of the beaurocracy though.   

Now of course Ukraine has been hit very hard by the crisis and I am not saying that sacking 50% of the governmental employees would be a socially acceptable thing…….however there is major scope for redeploying these staff to State organs that are particularly busy and never have enough staff from those that can have a dozen sat around doing nothing for days.

I am not a “privitistion is best” preacher necessarily although I do believe government should be as small as possible whereever possible.  There are some things that are better left in the control of Government and others that are not. 

What is essential is governmental oversight when talking about trasnportation, education, energy and anything else to which the public expect certain standards to be upheld or bettered whilst services are supposed to improve after privitisation.  After all it is the government that pays the price via elections if things get worse and not better.

Anyway, I have wandered………contrary to the Bloomberg headline, the Ukrainian government will not shrink its involvement in the economy to 20 – 25%……..it is only shrinking its assets in the economy to that level…….unfortunately.

Still, if anyone out there has an interest in any governmental assets that will go up for sale, let me know what you are looking for and if something meets you criteria, be prepared to submit an official Letter of Interest very quickly…….possibly with a BCL, depending upon how the government will carry out the privitissations.

I will know the mechanisms of registering interest soon enough…..and associated procedural steps their after.

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