Belarusian state budget to fail income tax plan for 2016
According to the Finance Ministry, in January-February 2016, the national budget received BYR 300.6 billion from income tax payments or 3.3% of the projected amount for 2016. The low proceeds from income tax were due to the economy’s losses, which exceeded BYR 20 trillion. Following the adoption of the decree on writing off foreign exchange rate differences, the number of profitable enterprises is expected to increase. Compared with 2015, budgetary proceeds from income tax are likely to reduce due to further deterioration of price terms on foreign markets. In Q1 2016, the state budget expenditures are likely to be readjusted due to the expected shortfall in tax payments, and investment programmes of enterprises using own funds are likely to be reviewed. The state is likely to attempt to compensate for reduced income tax revenues by increasing the tax burden on profitable businesses and enhancing audit.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.