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18 Jan 2016

Proposals to adjust Belarus’ five-year development program to be ready in January

MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) - Proposals to adjust Belarus social and economic development program for 2016-2020 will be prepared in January, Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky said in an interview to the Belarus One TV channel, BelTA informs.

Vladimir Zinovsky noted: “Keeping in mind the fact that 2016 will be a difficult year, we are going to adjust the whole five-year period. I think in a week or more, but within the ongoing month we will be ready to submit our proposals to the head of state.”

The minister emphasized the social focus of the program and assured that even if subsidies for the real economic sector are cut, such areas as education and healthcare will not be affected. Low-income people and pensioners will be socially secured. “We are working on 20 government programs in order to connect them with the five-year program,” he said.

Speaking about inflation for 2016, Vladimir Zinovsky stated that it would not exceed 17-18%. “We are ready for certain transformations, ready to support our companies. Yet, we remain dependent upon the economy of our neighbors, including the Russian Federation,” he said.

“With the today’s oil price of $30 per barrel and the Russian ruble exchange rate of RUB75 per US dollar, we understand that the inflation calculated for 2016 with the exchange rates we had before is unlikely to stay the same. Today we can say that we will have a two-digit inflation. It is difficult to say whether it will be 14% or 15%. We are currently making calculations. I think it will not be over 17-18%. The government and the National Bank are working in this direction,” the Economy Minister added.

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