Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Labor and Social Protection Minister Marianna Shchetkina

    On 5 December President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko met with with Labor and Social Protection Minister Marianna Shchetkina to receive her report.

    The meeting focused on measures of state support for families with children and measures to increase birthrate.

    “We both agree that the matter is of utmost importance for us. The population in Belarus should grow,” the head of state said.

    The draft decree which incorporates the remarks and suggestions voiced at one of the sessions presided by the head of state was handed over to the President. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that before signing the draft decree he wanted to know all the subtleties of state support for big families. The document will come into effect on 1 January 2015.

    In particular, there are plans to provide families giving birth to the third and subsequent children with a lump-sum payment of $10,000.

    “We have agreed that these will be long-term measures. Families giving birth to the third and subsequent children will be rewarded with a lump-sum payment of $10,000. They will be able to use the money 18 years later. Over this time the amount will increase up to $14,000 or even $15,000. The money is good. This is long-term support. There is also routine support, short-term support, benefits and allowances, subsidized housing loans, etc.,” the President said.

    “However we should not overstretch the budget. If we undertake too many obligations and fail to deliver on our promises, this will bring to nought all our efforts to support families with children, though we have already done a lot on this front. Thus, we cannot make a mistake. We should fulfill our promises. However, we should not go to extremes,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The draft decree on the family capital program provides for one-time cashless transfer of $10,000 to families upon the birth of the third and subsequent children. Qualifying for the bonus will be Belarusian nationals who will give birth to or adopt the third and subsequent children from the period of 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2019. Families will be able to apply for the bonus at local executive and regulatory authorities. Families should claim the money within six months after the birth or adoption of the third or subsequent children. They will be able to use the money when this child turns 18. The money can be used to improve housing conditions, get education or other services, including social services and healthcare services, or be deposited to a mother’s pension account. The money can be used before a child turns 18 if a family needs to pay for medical services. The bonus will be transferred to family deposits to be opened at Belarusbank. The national budget has already allocated Br1.8 trillion for the project in 2015.

    Besides, the state will provide a monthly allowance for families with two and more children.

    It is envisaged that families with underage children will be entitled to a monthly allowance that will make up 50% of the biggest size of the minimum subsistence level on average per capita for the past eight months approved by the Labor and Social Protection Ministry. This allowance will be provided to a mother or a father (an adoptive or foster parent) bringing up children under three years and children in the age from three years and 18 years and receiving an allowance for taking care of a child under three years.

    Br1.6 trillion of budget funds will be allocated for these purposes in 2015.

    While assigning the allowance, specialists will not take into account children staying in boarding schools. Besides, this kind of state support will not be provided to parents deprived of parental rights whose children are brought up in state institutions.

    The draft decree also envisages that the interest rate on subsidized housing loans for young families with two underage children will be reduced to 5% of the refinancing rate of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.

    The head of state supported main provisions of the draft decree.