Belarusian Banks will provide more information about clients’ spending to control bodies

September 05, 2016 10:29

The Resolution of the Belarusian State Control Committee and the National Bank Board No 3/336 of June 20th, 2016 envisages a decrease from BYN 500 to BYN 300 in the size of payments by their clients, which banks have to report to the SCC. This rule excludes information about salaries, payment for utility services, payment for services under contracts with legal persons. As a result, people are likely to reduce non-cash payments, the workflow to process all this information will increase, hence the controlling bodies will need to recruit new staff. In addition, more citizens will be penned by the tax authorities for comparing income/expenditure in order to identify illegal incomes. The measure seems to be very inefficient and may cost more than the desired economic effect. In a while, the resolution may be abandoned or the audited payments’ size may be revised upwards.

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Death penalty discussion in Belarus: yet not ready for either abolition or moratorium
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The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.

In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.

The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.

There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.

That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.