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Opinions & Interviews

26 Mar 2020

Measures to keep Belarusian economy stable despite coronavirus virtually ready

Measures to keep Belarusian economy stable despite coronavirus virtually ready
Sergei Rumas

MINSK, 26 March (BelTA) – The economic storm caused by the new coronavirus has caught up with Belarus. Bearing it in mind, a draft set of measures to ensure the stable operation of the national economy has been worked out, BelTA learned from Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas at a session of the Council of Ministers’ Presidium on 26 March.

Sergei Rumas noted: “The economic situation is changing rapidly due to epidemiological processes in the world. The current state of affairs in the world economy has already been dubbed ‘a tsunami of economic destruction’. Although the spread of the new coronavirus is under control in Belarus, the country has not managed to stay away from the economic storm.”

In his words, some branches of the national economy are most sensitive to the ongoing processes and are now in quite a complicated situation. Traditional logistic chains no longer work while contracts that have been signed are no longer executed. “The situation is complicated by the process gaining momentum. It is unclear when we may expect recovery. In these conditions the private sector expects certain actions and support and would like to know how the state can help, how the state can lend its back to keep everyone afloat in this complicated period,” the prime minister said.

Upon the government’s instructions the Economy Ministry and agencies concerned have worked out and submitted a package of measures designed to ensure the stable operation of the Belarusian economy. A session of the Council of Ministers’ Presidium to discuss the package was scheduled for Tuesday, 31 March. At the same time the suggested measures have been discussed in advance with a broad range of parties, including the central bank and the Belarus President Administration. “On the whole, views of the sides on the suggested set of measures have been substantially reconciled and we are close to concerted decisions. There are virtually no debated issues left. Bearing it in mind, we’ve decided not to delay the discussion and convene the Presidium today,” Sergei Rumas explained.

The head of government thanked Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) Pavel Kallaur for prompt decisions on regulating the credit sphere. The prime minister referred to actions of the central bank as an example of how swift actions should be taken in such a situation.

A number of measures to be discussed today will require the approval and the consequent decision of the head of state. The relevant proposals will be forwarded to the head of state as a result of the session.

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