Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Nadezhda Yermakova to receive her report
On 6 March President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank Nadezhda Yermakova to receive her report.
According to the President, the situation on the financial market is calm. “Changes regarding the refinancing rate have been made. [It is now 38% per annum]. It is good. It is a normal trend. We see these are steps in the right direction as the government tells me. We will act in this direction,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “The refinancing rate should be reduced so that the economy could get cheaper money. Money is needed. Life tells us that. The bankers who work directly with the production sector say that we should reduce the refinancing rate to make loans more affordable”.
The meeting also touched upon inflation. “The government has informed me prices for some products are declining. Inflation is related to price regulation, to the fact that we ourselves regulate prices, for instance, in education and other areas. It is administrative regulation,” remarked the head of state. “It is also good because market inflation, the one determined purely by supply and demand, tends to decline. We might do without the decline. We could live with stabilization at this level and then pulling earnings of the population close to it. We have good tendencies in this regard”.
Nadezhda Yermakova told Aleksandr Lukashenko serious stabilization was registered in the financial market, the currency market, and the banking system as a whole.
Speaking about the reduction of the refinancing rate, the NBRB head stated it had been done primarily due to lower inflation. Partially it had been prompted by the lower money supply in circulation, normalization of the currency market, natural reduction of prices for certain products. “Naturally there are administrative levers to stop prices. It is also a normal situation because every country regulates prices for these or those commodities, particularly staple products or services,” said Nadezhda Yermakova. She remarked the refinancing rate should remain positive in comparison with the inflation level.
“We will not reduce the refinancing rate drastically. Yet we retain the right to raise it if something changes with regard to prices or inflation. But at present the situation necessitates reduction of the refinancing rate,” said the NBRB head.Aleksandr Lukashenko gave instructions to continue maintaining stable operation of the banking system and to respond to various changes and trends in this sphere.