Belarusians help National Bank to restrain depletion of gold reserves
According to the National Bank, as of April 1st, Belarus’ gold reserves totalled USD 4 560.5 million – shrank by USD 90.8 million since March. Experts have assessed such a depletion rate as ‘fairly moderate’, considering that in March 2015 was the peak of external debt payments. On the positive side, in March 2015, the net sale of foreign currency cash by population totalled SD 243.8 million. In addition, due to some ‘stabilisation’ of the BYR, the National Bank did not have to use international reserves to support BYR exchange rate. Since Belarus is expecting to receive a USD 110 million loan from Russia, her gold reserves may stop dwindling in the coming month. In addition, Belarusian state banks may issue new currency bonds on domestic market and rules regarding non-centralized imports by Belarusian citizens may be toughened. Trending net sales of foreign currency by population will persist in the coming months due to falling incomes and the need to convert foreign currency savings to support consumption levels.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.