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21 Nov 2017

Lukashenko wants 2018 draft budget to be finalized by 20 December

Lukashenko wants 2018 draft budget to be finalized by 20 DecemberMINSK, 21 November (BelTA) – The 2018 draft budget must be finalized by 20 December, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he heard out a report of the government, National Bank, oblast executive committees, and the Minsk City Hall on the economic performance in 2017 and the draft social and economic development forecast for 2018, BelTA informs.

“Finalize the draft budget taking in to account the discussion and submit the endorsed document to the Belarus President Administration. I will sign and send it to the parliament. If we discuss and adopt it here, the MPs will not be against. They are also involved. You will tell them about the discussion, about the major issues. I am convinced that they will support me because we have a common goal: the wellbeing of people is the pillar of our wellbeing,” Alexander Lukashenko remarked.

In general, the president spoke in positive terms about the draft budget. “Everything is well calculated. In fact, what you have said is right. But please focus on the needs of people who want to live well,” Alexander Lukashenko said. He instructed to allocate funds for the support of public sector employees and the most vulnerable categories of people.

A conservative scenario of external conditions providing for a 1.2% GDP growth in Belarus was adopted as the major guidelines for the calculation of the 2018 draft budget. The average annual parameters will be as follows: the level of inflation is expected at 7.4%, the refinancing rate – at 11%, oil prices – at $43 per 1 barrel, the U.S. dollar exchange rate – at Br2.038 and RUB62.3.

The national budget income is expected to reach Br20.5 billion, up 7.5-7.8% from the level of 2017. Budget expenses are estimated at Br19.8 billion, up about 7% from the level of 2017. The national budget surplus will reach Br718.3 million (0.64% of the GDP) and will be used to repay part of the state debt.

The priority objectives in the formation of the 2018 draft budget include the timely and full repayment of the foreign state debt, full payment of social allowances and salaries in the public sector and state administration, support of the export of Belarusian-made products at the level of 2017.

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