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Opinions & Interviews

3 Oct 2016

Belarus hopes for compromise with IMF on new cooperation program

Belarus hopes for compromise with IMF on new cooperation program

MINSK, 3 October (BelTA) - Belarus hopes to reach a compromise with the IMF on the new cooperation program, Belarus’ Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky told the media in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

According to the minister, the program is being worked out now, negotiations with the IMF continue. “Belarus’ delegation is going to Washington on 4 October. It is led by First Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Matyushevsky and Chairman of the Board of the National Bank Pavel Kallaur. The chances for the new program are not bad, but there are still certain things, for example, the raising of prices for housing and utility services,” he said.

The Economy Minister noted that the raising of utility prices is possible up to a certain level and only if people’s income is increased too.

“I do not think it is an insurmountable issue. We must understand that we all must pay for services as much as they cost. Another question whether there are reserves, for example, for cutting production costs of housing and utility services and energy. Production costs should be cut. Then it will be easier for households to pay for these services,” he noted.

According to Vladimir Zinovsky, over time the country will need to give up on cross-subsidizing. “Then the production costs of enterprises will be lower and these products will become more competitive around the world. Certainly in this case wages will grow, and people will be able to pay for these services,” the minister said.

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