Business community pressured to abolish higher tariffs on acquiring and collecting commission
On October 30th, 2014, the National Bank reversed the decision on minimum fees for collection services and acquiring.
It was abolished due to negative reactions in the business community to the higher costs of these services for the enterprises, which could entail the closure or suspension of activities for many trade organisations. The National Bank will continue implementing measures that seek to increase the share of non-cash payments in the total settlements in the economy, including physical persons and legal entities. Physical persons may be forced to make more non-cash payments, while enterprises might be pressured to pay workers’ salaries to bank accounts.
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.