The State Forestry Agency responded to the scandalous report of the investigative commission shutterstock

The State Forestry Agency responded to the scandalous report of the investigative commission

Katerina Belousova

The State Forestry Agency stated that the conclusions of the TSC do not correspond to reality

The State Forest Resources Agency stated that the scandalous interim report of the Temporary Investigative Commission of the Verkhovna Rada "National Resource" for half a year of work contains baseless accusations, unconfirmed facts and unreliable data.

On its Facebook page, the department commented on the most "flagrant", in their opinion, provisions of the report.

The authors said that the employees of the State Forestry Agency contributed to the work of the TSC, in particular, they provided answers to numerous requests.

Foresters accused some members of the commission of unethical behavior, insults, threats, illegal demands, intimidation, spreading false information, etc.

The department commented on the 5 most pressing provisions of the report:

  • Incorrect survey;

The message said that the Commission conducted an anonymous survey to identify and assess the risks of the industry in the format of filling out online questionnaires among officials, the public, businesses and academics.

The State Forestry Agency emphasized that these data do not inspire confidence, because it is impossible to control who exactly filled out the questionnaires. And such research cannot show reliable results.

"Anyone could, for example, indicate that he is the manager of a forestry enterprise, or a scientist, or an ecologist, or a woodworker. "The survey" also did not provide for a system of independent control over the processing of the questionnaires," the report says.

  • Potential income;

It is noted that one of the main results of the TSK report is the calculation of the so-called revenue potential per industry per year.

The report noted that the State Forest Agency in 2022 received UAH 23.3 billion in revenue from the sale of forest products. However, this amount could be 40 times higher and reach 881 billion hryvnias.

The informants emphasized that the conclusion is based on a comparison of the income of the "Radomyshlske LMG" branch from the processing of forest products with the income of one of the private enterprises. Allegedly, the forest farm sells timber for export at a price three times lower than the market price, and secondary products of wood processing (waste) at a price 20 times lower than the market price.

The State Forestry Agency stated that such a comparison is incorrect, because the company does not process wood at all. In addition, the forest farm does not sell timber for export and sells them through the Ukrainian stock exchange at the market price.

  • Inefficiency of the industry;

It is noted that in the report, the Uzhhorod Forest Farm became an example of inefficient work of the industry. Allegedly, the estimated financial losses in the forest farm reached UAH 80 million, and a number of systemic offenses with criminal characteristics were recorded.

In the message, it was emphasized that the TSK lacks certificates and calculations that confirm such conclusions.

  • 20 criminal proceedings

It is noted that during the work of the Commission, 20 criminal proceedings were opened, which are subject to pre-trial investigation.

The authors emphasized that the law enforcement officers are obliged to open proceedings upon the request of an official in which alleged criminal violations are indicated.

"The State Forestry Agency has no data that would indicate that in the cases opened based on the statements of members of the TSK, the charges were confirmed, and suspicions were raised against the forestry employees," the report says.

  • Negative consequences of the reform

It is noted that among the negative consequences of the creation of the State Enterprise "Lisa Ukrainy" in the TSC, the following were named:

  • risk of transfer of shares into private hands;
  • monopolization of the wood market;
  • abuse, including appropriation of national resources and loss of income;
  • increase in social tension, loss of jobs by workers at the lower level of the industry.

The State Forestry Agency stated that these conclusions do not correspond to reality, because:

  • it is legally established that 100% of the shares of "Forests of Ukraine" belong to the state;
  • "Forests of Ukraine" provides equal, transparent and competitive conditions for the purchase of forest products for all market participants;
  • there is no evidence of violations;
  • employees of forestry farms automatically transferred to "Forests of Ukraine", and a certain reduction in staff in the industry occurs every year. This mainly concerns the administrative apparatus thanks to digitalization.

Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that Yuliya Yatsyk, a member of the People's Deputy and a member of the Temporary Investigative Commission on Illegal Cutting of Forests in Zakarpattia Oblast, suspected officials from the region Prosecutor's Office of being involved in forest mafia schemes.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, in the Kyiv region, the police uncovered a large-scale scheme of illegal felling and sale of wood, the losses of which reached 4 million hryvnias. The group of attackers consisted of 9 people, including officials.

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