Privatization in favour of foreign investors: still no transactions
State-owned shares of MTS [Mobile TeleSystems] are planned to auction this year (51%), announced the Head of the Accounting and Disposal of Shares Department of the State Property Fund of the SPC Anna Kornievich.
“Gazprom agrees to pay $ 2.5 billion for 50% of Beltransgaz, the contract could be signed “tomorrow” if Belarus does not raise additional conditions”, said the Head of the Russian gas holding Alexei Miller.
There is an obvious mismatch in the negotiating positions. Belarus is trying to influence investors by applying brute force however it is unlikely that such tactics will be successful.
At the same time, the lack of significant revenues from privatization is not in the interests of the authorities as they 1) must show to the existing and potential donors and creditors that privatization is ongoing in the country, 2) need to attract FDIs to implement a plan and 3) thereby have to close the trade deficit.
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.