Belarus 2018 budget: main points

Belarus 2018 budget: main points

Education spending will be about 5% of the GDP and healthcare spending is increased up to 4.2%, which is a good European indicator, Belarus Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin said commenting on the 2018 Belarus budget.

In general, education and healthcare will get from the consolidated budget $2.8 billion and $2.4 billion respectively.

At the same time, Amarin acknowledged that the most difficult thing in forming a budget is to take into account the interests of Belarusian regions, because it is from local budgets that the social sphere is funded. As previously reported, the 2018 budget was formed on the basis of a conservative scenario.

Belarus GDP growth is set at only 1.2%, oil price is planned at $43 per barrel.

The average monthly salary of state employees in 2018 will grow by 14% to about $350 a month. "If the budget receives additional revenues, it will be spent on the additional increase in salaries," Amarin said.

Amarin assured that if the rates of GDP growth are higher (for which, he is sure, there are prerequisites), the funds will be redirected and used to increase salaries and major investment projects.

The limit of the internal public debt of Belarus is approved at a rate of 10 billion rubles ($5 billion); internal debt guaranteed by the Republic of Belarus at 3.1 billion rubles (about $1.5 billion).

The limit of the external public debt is 19.6 billion dollars, or about $10 billion (this year 17.85 billion, or $8.925 billion), the external debt guaranteed by the Republic of Belarus is at $3 billion.

In 2018, $3.7 billion (+ 8.8% as compared to 2017) will be needed to repay and service the state debt of Belarus. Including repaying $2.5 billion of foreign exchange debt.

Belarus plans to refinance 3/4 of these payments and the remaining quarter will be paid off thanks to budget surplus.

Belarus in 2018 plans to attract 1.2 billion borrowings in the external and domestic markets.