Agro-industrial complex will remain major recipient of state aid, however, in reduced amounts
According to decree 280 of August 7th, 2017, some agro-industrial enterprises will receive instalments on payments to the budget for up to seven years, for a total amount over BYN 400 million, with no penalty for delay or interest charges. This decree is a continuation of the programme on financial recovery of agricultural enterprises. Over the past six years, the state support to rural enterprises has exceeded USD 8.4 billion. The practice of transferring problem debts of the agro-industrial complex to banks for servicing from the state budget is likely to continue, as well as merges of unprofitable enterprises into holdings in order to improve accountability, and forcibly attaching loss-making agro enterprises to profitable businesses. Employment in agriculture will continue to reduce. In 2017, the state support for rural areas will be over USD 800 million, which will exceed the amount of state aid to other economic sectors. However, in future, support for agro-industrial enterprises will reduce in order to meet Belarus’ commitments within the framework of the Unified Energy System and due to limited budgetary sources.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.