Mikhail Volynets, the chairman of the Independent Miners Union of Ukraine, believes that the coal industry is in the critical state, and the lack of money makes it impossible to pay salary and develop mines.
“Unpaid salary totals 80 million UAH. We don’t understand from where this will be paid. In 2011 the state budget gave 10 billion UAH to the coal industry, the output was on the high level and the price was stable. In 2012 we were given 12 billion, in 2013 – 15.5 billion. In 2015 the budget gave us only 2.58 billion UAH and 2.4 billion in 2016. The 2017 state budget presupposes 2.6 billion UAH. And that’s given that the UAH has devaluated 3-fold. This will result in the situation when we will have nothing to pay salary with”, he said.
At present 35 mines yield some 14 thousand cubic meters of coal per day, and state mines are profitless. While, according to Volynets, they can easily mine more, as some companies have reserves of over 100 million tons of coal.
“Our main suggestion is to balance the price of state mines coal. The price should be decent, world price, as with the gas and oil now. But the ministry keeps silence. We have to save the industry and ease the social tension”, Volynets added. (Ukrainian metal)