The Council of Ministers February 9, 2016 discussed the draft activity program for the next five years. The situation in the world markets remains difficult, but external factors should be minimized. The government has developed a set of anti-crisis measures and revised forecast indicators.
The average dollar exchange rate for 2016 is going to stand at BYR22,700. Other paragraphs of Belarus economic scenario have also changed.
Andrei Kobyakov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
The budget gap between the two scenarios is about BYR38 trillion. No one can say how the market turmoil will behave itself outside. In these five years, Belarus is able to begin the formation of a new economic structure that ensures economic independence of the country. In parallel with the state initiative the private initiative should also develop. The role of the private sector must grow. Simultaneously with the complicated measures to increase income, measures are taken to reduce costs. We will seriously optimize non-priority capital costs.
The priority is the restoration of the competiveness of Belarus’ industrial complex and investment policy. Special attention is given to the development of small and medium-sized businesses. This will contribute to import substitution and creation of the new jobs.
Various forms of assistance, including microlending, will be provided. But state support will be given only on a competitive basis.
A strong social orientation of the program should be noticed. The reduction of energy costs and utilities is also planned. Cross-subsidization will be liquidated in three stages. By the end of 2016, consumers will pay 50% of energy costs, at the end of 2017 they will pay 75% of, and in 2018 they will have to pay the full 100%. Targeted social support will appear in utility payments.