Consumer prices grow slowly and inevitably

April 22, 2016 17:59

In order to eliminate the disparity in food prices between Russia and Belarus, the government is planning to raise prices by 5-10% every month. Mass-scale devaluation in terms of open borders within the Customs Union resulted in decreasing real incomes and also in vanishing of goods from shelves.

The Ministry of Economy has increased the price of natural gas and heating tariffs by 10% for some categories of consumers (hospitals, kindergartens, etc.) that pay for energy at the same rate as the population.

Selling prices for a number of socially important goods: bread, bread, milk, yogurt, sour cream and cottage cheese, etc have been increased by 5%.

Comment

In order to eliminate the disparity in food prices between Russia and Belarus, the government is planning to raise prices by 5-10% every month. However in the current circumstances it could result in higher inflation and money growth. Therefore, the large-scale devaluation in terms of open borders within the Customs Union resulted in decreasing real incomes and also in vanishing of goods from the shelves. Belarus has no solutions how to fight against the mass-scale export of goods to Russia bearing open borders in mind.

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Belarusian authorities attempt to depoliticise education system
August 21, 2017 10:55
Image: TUT.BY

The Belarusian authorities are attempting to strengthen some elements of the ‘Soviet’ education to ensure the ideological loyalty of new generations to the state. Most likely, one of the major tasks of the educational reform is to prevent growing discontent with the existing education system among the population. The educational reform aims to strengthen centralisation and adjust the system to the needs of the public sector.

In Belarus, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Ministry of Economy would determine the university enrolment figures.

The Belarusian authorities do not seem to have a long-term vision of the educational reform. The education system changes depending on who leads the Education Ministry and has access to President Lukashenka. For instance, former head of pro-government communist party and Education Minister Igor Karpenko reintroduced some "Soviet" elements to the school and strengthened ideological components along with the de-politicisation of the curricula. Current generation of students and youth have not spoken against the authorities, unlike previous generations raised during the Gorbachev thaw and socio-political transformations of the 1990s.

In addition, the Belarusian authorities are attempting to adopt measures aiming to prevent discontent among the population with the Belarusian education system. The authorities are mobilizing those nostalgic for the USSR and propose to return to 5-marks grading system, school uniforms and reduced curriculum. The Belarusian leadership also aims to blur the growing social stratification in society and to relax social tension due to the growing income gap between the richest and poorest.

Should the authorities adopt plans to reduce university enrolment, they would re-certify universities in order to close some of them and would reduce competition from private educational institutions. The Belarusian leadership is attempting to adjust the education system to the needs of the real economy, to reduce pressure on the labour market and to cut government spending on higher education for specialists low in demand by replacing them with graduates of secondary vocational schools requiring less time to train.