Session to discuss draft decree on measures to ensure budget balance

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The volume of state support available to enterprises in Belarus will be reduced. The relevant draft decree was discussed at the government conference held by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 17 May.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted: “The government has brought in a draft presidential decree, which suggests reducing money [by trimming assets of the central state budget] spent on compensating for the interest payments on loans taken out by enterprises. How much are we going to save by that? Is it a sound idea? Who will bear this burden? Enterprises or banks? I’d like to see a normal compromise in this matter.”

In line with Belarus president decree No. 78, which was adopted on 23 February 2016, the government is supposed to take exhaustive measures to optimize and reduce budget spending this year for the sake of balancing the state budget. The measures include lower state support in the form of compensations for interest payments on the bank loans granted to economic entities as part of government programs.

The President gave instructions to tweak the draft decree so that not only borrowers but also banks would bear the burden caused by the reduced state support.

At present state support is provided to Belarusian enterprises primarily in the form of compensations for interest payments on loans. The compensations vary from half of the refinancing rate to 100% of the refinancing rate, which now stands at 22% per annum. If state support is reduced by two percentage points, the move will not drastically affect the economy of Belarusian enterprises, Belarus’ Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin is convinced.

On the whole, the draft decree has been prepared for the sake of reducing budget spending. The implementation of the measures will allow reducing expenses of the central state budget by Br400 billion in 2016 and by Br500 billion in 2017.

There are no plans to step down social commitments. All of them are executed in full.