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30 Apr 2020

Belarus to expand definition of foreign gratuitous aid

Belarus to expand definition of foreign gratuitous aid
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MINSK, 30 April (BelTA) – The new decree on foreign gratuitous aid was in focus of the government meeting hosted by the Belarusian president on 30 April. In general, the head of state approved the proposed approaches, BelTA has learned.

Following the meeting, Director of the Department for Humanitarian Activities of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate Igor Kudrevich told journalists that participants of the meeting had an in-depth discussion of the new draft decree. He stressed that the president wants a balanced approach to this matter.

“Belarus needs foreign gratuitous aid, this is why all provisions should be reasonable, precise, and should not raise doubts. On the whole, the head of state has supported all approaches set forth in the draft decree,” Igor Kudrevich said.

The draft decree provides for expanding the definition of ‘foreign gratuitous aid’. “This term is used to denote funds and goods received from foreign organizations, but now we propose to add to the definition services, work, or goods bought with the help of foreign gratuitous aid,” Igor Kudrevich noted.

According to him, this will lead to changes in approaches to taxation of foreign gratuitous aid. “We have taken into account interests of individuals and their opportunities to seek tax exemption. Secondary recipients of such aid may also be exempt from taxes, which is very important. The approaches will be unified,” Igor Kudrevich said.

The meeting also centered on the fee for aid registration. “We have decided to demand payment for registration only of aid that is not used for social purposes. This includes so-called organizations’ general expenses that are not exempt from taxes, fees, and customs duties,” Igor Kudrevich explained. “Payment for registration will be spent on running the divisions of the department that are involved in preparing documents and proposals, consulting organizations – aid recipients, seeking assessment from relevant agencies, that is, technical work related to registration of foreign gratuitous aid. The fee will be small,” he added.

According to Igor Kudrevich, the provisions of the decree on changes to control over receipt and use of aid is also important. “We have delegated more authorities to local executive and regulatory agencies: they will assess the viability of projects and exemption from taxes and, consequently, participate in the control over targeted use of foreign gratuitous aid,” he explained.

The registration procedure for aid recipients will be simplified by making use of the one-stop shop system. Igor Kudrevich also pointed out that the new decree is written in understandable terms.

The president has instructed to finalize the decree and submit it to him for signing in the next few days.

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