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7 Dec 2015

Lukashenko: Reducing the inflation rate is not enough

MINSK, 7 December (BelTA) – The inflation rate has been reduced but it is not enough. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement during the government conference held on 7 December to discuss the draft social and economic development forecast, the draft state budget, and the draft monetary management policy for 2016, BelTA has learned.

The head of state said: “We’ve managed to reduce the inflation rate, but it is not enough. It is necessary to work harder to reduce inflation to one-digit figures. Then we will have macroeconomic stability and conditions for reducing interest rates on loans.”

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that participants of the government conference would have to discuss the most important aspects of the state economic policy for at least the next 12 months. “Everyone must be worried about what will happen next, what policy we are going to adopt. I would like to hear suggestions of the government and the relevant officials,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “Naturally, times change and we have to adapt to these times. It is necessary to adapt instead of trailing behind events. We should try to make these events benefit the country and the nation if we can by taking adequate measures and suggesting ideas for preparing real plans. The available assets should be mobilized for that.”

Yet the President noted that before making plans for the next year it is necessary to analyze the current situation and evaluate the foundation that the next year’s plans and actions will rely on.

“Let’s hear out the government. I would like to learn about the current state of affairs in the economy, what measures have been taken to resolve problems, what has been achieved, and what results we have failed to achieve. And the most important thing is the response to the instructions I gave at least in the fourth quarter of last year,” stressed the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko noted that judging by government reports the overall stability had been preserved. The country honors all the state liabilities and foreign currency debts in time and in full. “It is good but the most important thing is to develop the economy so that we would not have to borrow in the future,” the President was convinced.

The head of state stated: “The state of affairs in many industrial enterprises remains complicated or worse.” Negative trends have emerged in agriculture and trade. The civil engineering industry is underperforming. Export is falling. Investments have shrunk, he noted.

The President said he believes that external factors certainly play their negative part, however, these factors should not be blamed for everything. “There are a lot of domestic reserves, which are poorly used for reducing the prime cost of products, introducing new technologies, and for managing enterprises,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “I can estimate the impact effect of external factors at 100% and the impact effect of domestic factors at 30% at least.”

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