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Ukraine Seeks To Shrink Underground Economy, Takes On Illegal Gambling, Other Sectors

About half of the gas stations police inspected in Ukraine were not paying fuel taxes.

Ukraine is cracking down on illegal gambling and logging and fraudulent gas stations in a bid to reduce the size of the country’s shadow economy.

Speaking at a meeting with the heads of the country’s 24 regions over the weekend, Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk said the year 2020 “will be the year of the uncloaking of the Ukrainian economy.”

He noted that in the last two weeks, police had shuttered 900 illicit gambling dens.

He said about half of the gas stations police inspected -- 707 -- were not paying fuel taxes.

A digital record of all cut timber is set to be placed in a centralized digital registry by February 1, Honcharuk said.

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry estimates that 33 percent of Ukraine’s gross domestic product (GDP) is in the shadows.

Some economists say the figure is higher and makes up about 40 percent of the economy. In monetary terms, Ukraine’s economic output last year equaled $155 billion, Kyiv-based investment bank Dragon Capital estimates.

Based on reporting by Ukraine Business News