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Opinions & Interviews

21 Dec 2014

PM: No grounds for acceleration of inflation in Belarus

PM: No grounds for acceleration of inflation in Belarus

MINSK, 21 December (BelTA) – There are no grounds for the acceleration of inflation in Belarus, Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV Channel, BelTA has learned.

The head of government said that there are no grounds why the temporary 30% exchange fee should add a 30% increase in the rate of inflation. “There are no reasons to say that the rate of inflation will accelerate equaling the amount of the fee. Our power engineering is protected, deposits are protected. Wages remain within the parameters and balances that we outlined for 2014-2015,” the Prime Minister noted.

Enterprises will not have to pay the fee when purchasing foreign currency to pay for oil, petroleum (associated) gas, other liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons, natural gas, and electricity. Even with the 30% fee, Belarusian importers will have higher trade margins than similar businesses in Russia or Ukraine where the level of devaluation reached 180% and 200% respectively. The Prime Minister assumed that "the prices for some imported goods might go up." But he drew attention to the fact that Belarus produces similar goods of high quality, at affordable prices and in sufficient quantities.

Mikhail Myasnikovich also spoke about the measures taken by the Government and the National Bank to protect the ruble deposits of people. The interest rates on constantly available and two-way current liquidity support transactions were increased to 50% per annum. This measure will result in the proportional increase in the interest rates on deposits in the national currency. All major banks introduced fixed-term guaranteed savings deposits with the mechanism for adjusting the ruble savings to the fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble. "Citizens can open such deposits and have a high rate of return unlike those who traded the Belarusian rubles, put them in the pockets and incurred damages in this regard. But that is their choice, "said the Prime Minister.

Any citizen can buy and sell currency without restrictions. "People have the right to choose. If they want to change their rubles for dollars, they can freely do it but they will have to pay the 30% exchange fee. We do not have that many dollars to satisfy the demand in full,” said Mikhail Myasnikovich.

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