Economy Minister Nikolai Snopkov reported on March 31 that the country's authorities are currently conducting an audit of government programs in order to optimize costs. He reminded that Belarus had asked the Government of Russia and the Eurasian Economic Community Crisis Fund for obtaining loans.
In this regard, Belarus should provide the Russian side with a specific plan for the future economic development. «There is nothing new in this program. There is nothing that has not been specified by the head of state at the fourth All-Belarusian People’s Assembly and the Government Action Plan for five years. We see the problems. We have it scheduled for implementation in the five-year period. But, unfortunately, not everything happens quickly,» said Nikolai Snopkov.
At the moment, he said, the program is specified. It clearly calculated the figures to be presented to the Russian side. Economy Minister noted that the basis of the whole program is reducing domestic demand for currency. To this end, the country is tightening monetary and fiscal policy.
Nikolai Snopkov stressed: «stabilization program is designed not to meet the requirements of the Russian partners, but to ensure a balanced sustainable economic development.»
The minister said that one should live within one’s means under such circumstances. «In this connection Belarus is carrying out audits of state programs in terms of cost optimization, particularly, financial resources for the programs’ implementation, but in strict compliance with the necessary parameters, both quantitative and qualitative,» he said.
Funding of Social Programs Not to be Reduced, Snopkov
However, the head of the Ministry of Economy said that the financing of social programs in Belarus would not be reduced. Head of the agency noted that the Head of State had tasked to review state programs, including a 50% decrease of their funding. «The Government and the Ministry of Economy does not mention the reduction of social programs, only the reduction of lending and financing of the real economy,» said the minister.
According to him, purely social programs in Belarus (about 50) are not a serious financial burden on the budget; the total funding for the social program makes up only 14% of the total funding.
Inflation Rate Started to Slow down, Snopkov
Nikolai Snopkov noted that the inflation rate in Belarus had slowed down. He recalled that inflation in Belarus had amounted to 4.2% for January-February 2011, BelTA informs.
«A positive factor is that the rise in inflation has fallen for three weeks of March, and according to our data, it has made 1.3-1.4%. This suggests that feverish demand, registered at the beginning of the year, has subsided for some food products,» the minister said.
In 2011, inflation is projected at 7.5-8.5%. It is provided by the basic directions of the monetary policy of Belarus.
Rating Agencies’ Assessment Not Reflect Real Situation in Belarus, Snopkov
Economy Minister also said that the rating agencies’ assessment didn’t reflect the real situation in the Belarusian economy. In his view, the economic situation in Belarus can be described as positive. In this regard, said the head of the Ministry of Economy, the position of the international rating agencies on rapid reduction of our country’s ratings suggests different estimates.
«I think it does not justify the real and current situation in the country,» said Nikolai Snopkov. According to him, the main economic aggregates of Belarus are in the range of average values of the «BP» group. «In our view, one needs to assess the potential of the country, but not to do the-minute assessment of various economic indicators,» the minister said.