Alexander Lukashenko’s administrative tools to stimulate exports
On 6 March Alexander Lukashenko signed a Decree No 126 to regulate the granting of export credits by banks.
For instance, the document provides for the granting of export credits in Belarusian rubles by banks with the interest rate of two-thirds of the discount rate of the National Bank. It also provides for compensation of losses to banks due to the provision of export credit in the loan’s foreign currency, extension of the waiting period of completion of the foreign trade operations and the payment of insurance indemnity under an insurance contract of export risks secured by the state without permission of the National Bank. In order to reduce the time of issue of export credits, the decree envisages that the compensation of losses to banks from the provision of export credit up to USD 500,000 in equivalent, will be authorized by the Finance Ministry’s and adopted following a procedure established by the Government of the Republic of Belarus. Thus, the planned growth of exports will be achieved via administrative support and concessional lending.
The country's leadership has instructed the local authorities to raise minimum wages at enterprises by the end of 2019 to BYN 1,000, which would lead to an increase in the average wage in the economy as a whole to BYN 1 500. The pace of wage growth in 2017 is insufficient to ensure payroll at BYN 1000 by late 2017 without manipulating statistical indicators. In order to fulfil the president’s order, the government would have to increase budgetary expenditures on wages in healthcare and education, enterprises – to carry out further layoffs and expand the practice of taking loans to pay wages and restrict investment in modernisation of fixed assets. In 2010, the artificial increase in wages led to a threefold devaluation in 2011, an increase in the average salary to BYN 1500 will not match the capabilities of the economy and would lead to yet another devaluation.