President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk and set a number of important tasks for the government.
The Head of State said he had considered Oleksiy Honcharuk's letter of resignation as Prime Minister.
"I have decided to give you and your government a chance if you resolve some things that are very important today and are of concern to our society. Now is not the right time to destabilize the country economically and politically," the President told Oleksiy Honcharuk.
In particular, the government must present to the Head of State a new concept of salaries of heads of ministries, departments, state-owned enterprises and their deputies, taking into account the situation in the country.
“This should be a normal salary. We understand that these are highly qualified experts, but I want to have a shared opinion with you and the ministers that such salaries may be in Ukraine today in a situation in which our economy is. When you and your government raise the economy, it will be possible to raise the wages,” the President stressed.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that those ministers who would not agree to work for the salary proposed by the government would have to say goodbye.
"Wages should be normal, so that one can live normally, and should be in line with the status of officials," the President said.
The Head of State also set a task to resolve the situation with the bonuses provided to the top executives of Naftogaz of Ukraine for receiving compensation from PJSC Gazprom.
“They must not only be pragmatic managers, but also remain people, find a way out of this situation. If they do not hear you, then they will hear people, lawyers. Or we will reboot Naftogaz completely. And we have to work out a strategy of doing that,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
In addition, the President stressed the importance of strengthening the government through personnel changes.
"I have no reason to think that any of them is dishonest or unprofessional. I remember how you picked this government, how we communicated with you and with them, how we saw their strategy and their team. But we want to strengthen the government. Therefore, I ask you to find weaknesses and to replace the heads of ministries according to their professional data,” the Head of State said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also stated the need to reformat some central executive bodies. In particular, it is a division of functions in a number of ministries.
"We had some ministries united. In the beginning, it was the right decision because we lack professionals, staff, and we have a small budget. It seems to me that time has shown that some ministries should be separated,” he stressed.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also asked the Prime Minister to establish cooperation with MPs of all factions and with parliamentary committees.
“You are deep in the economy, in the current processes of government. Our MPs do not know this. And when they receive draft laws - decisive, reformist, sometimes unpopular - they don't even have time to read them, work normally in the committees. This is not normal,” the Head of State said.
For his part, the Prime Minister of Ukraine thanked the President for his confidence and agreed to the proposed changes, which should be implemented in the near future.
“I am not afraid of the prospect of trying to repay the advance, a credit of trust that you have delegated on behalf of society. It is an important task for me, a great honor. And we are ready to fulfill your tasks,” Oleksiy Honcharuk said.
Separately, the Prime Minister stressed the need to determine the level of salaries paid to employees in the public service.
As a result of the meeting, Oleksiy Honcharuk promised to prepare an interim report on the activities of the Cabinet of Ministers by February 4 and submit it to the parliament. In particular, the concept of a strengthened government, as well as its partial organizational reformatting will be presented to the people’s deputies.