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3 Oct 2016

Belarus Parliament approves 2017 budget bill in first reading

MINSK, 3 October (BelTA) - Members of the House of Representatives approved the national budget 2017 bill in the first reading, BelTA has learned.

In 2017 the budget will retain its social focus. The priority areas for financing are healthcare and education. The draft budget provides for the family capital in the amount of Br457.8 million. A significant portion of the budget will be spent to finance wages, pensions, scholarships, grants, other payments.

The budget surplus is projected at Br1,496.2 million.

The revenues of the draft budget 2017 are forecast at Br18,235.2 million, or up by 6.1% from 2016. The main sources of tax revenue are the value added tax (31.5%), excises (7.6%), tax revenues from foreign economic activity (10.5%).

Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin explained that the flow of tax revenues from foreign economic activity is projected to decrease as compared to 2016. This is due to lower revenues from export duties on oil and oil products, taking into account the projected oil price and the final stage of the tax maneuver in Russia. “The revenue base of the budget is very sensitive to the changes in prices and volumes of exports of potash fertilizers and oil products, the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble,” the minister said.

The budget expenditures are forecast at Br6,739.1 million in 2017, or 98.9% of the 2016 budget expenditures.

The key objectives in 2017 will be to recover the economic growth, enhance the competitiveness of the economy and create the conditions for achieving the goals set out in Belarus’ social and economic development program 2016-2020.

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