Petroleum goods prices raised
As of 21 July the retail prices for petroleum products have been raised. Prices have increased by 3%. The “Belneftekhim” reported that “the revision of prices for petroleum goods is linked to gradual price adjustment within the Customs Union”.
At the same time “Belneftekhim” noted that “the current retail prices (subject to increase) remain below the level of prices in the Russian Federation by 2-8%.”
“the current retail prices (subject to increase) remain below the level of prices in the Russian Federation by 2-8%.”
While maneuvering between social (price) stability, and improvement of the financial state of the largest exporters, the authorities have chosen the latter.
The promise of the President of 8 June regarding unchanged petroleum prices in the coming quarter lasted just over a month.
Indirectly it confirms the sill critical state of the Belarusian economy. Moreover, increasing petrol prices by a symbolic amount the authorities make an attempt to test the loyalty of the public reaction (drivers are one of the most active part of the population). By hard-suppressing and preventing any kind of protests (an action “Stop: petrol” took place on the day the petroleum prices were increased) the authorities are preparing the population for future increases in prices and tariffs, which will affect the wealth of the average Belarusian to a greater extent than the increase of petrol price by 3%.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.