Economic reforms designed to strengthen features of stabilisation
Belarusian Finance Ministry hopes to launch consultations with EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund regarding a new programme in September
“Keeping in mind that the EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund’s stabilisation programme is nearing completion, the Finance Ministry is interested in launching a new one,” explains the Ministry. Given that one of the areas of the Fund’s activity is to support economic reform, the Finance Ministry has addressed this international financial organisation with a proposal to launch consultations for a new programme of structural reform. “Belarus plans to conduct consultations with the Fund’s experts in September 2013, in order to elaborate fundamental approaches to the implementation of the new programme,” adds the Finance Ministry.
The stabilisation programme of the Government and the National Bank of Belarus has had assistance from a EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund loan; this has hugely contributed to the achievement of macroeconomic stabilisation goals in Belarus. “Implementing the programme’s measures has helped secure a uniform exchange rate for foreign currency, as well as preserving a positive refinancing rate at the National Bank. Amendments have been introduced into the Banking Code, freeing the National Bank from performing outlying functions. The programme has also helped balance the budget at all levels, while reducing expenditure on state programme lending to less than 1 percent of GDP,” notes the Finance Ministry. The programme has raised the country’s gold and currency reserves (equalling two months’ imports) despite payment of external public debt.
Two years ago, the EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund Council approved the allocation of a $3bn financial loan to Belarus. The loan is being allocated in six tranches, between 2011 and 2013, in line with the fulfilment of the Belarusian Government Stabilisation Programme. This aims to stabilise the balance of payments and enhance the competitiveness of the economy. The loan’s repayment period is ten years, including a three-year grace period. A total of $2 billion 560 million has been received in five tranches so far, maintaining the balance of payments and replenishing international reserves. Belarus plans to receive the sixth tranche — of $440 million — later in 2013.