State support programmes in Belarus may become obstacle for new IMF loan
On July 8th – 15th, an IMF evaluation team will work in Belarus in order to assess whether Belarus has applied adequate efforts to reform the economy sufficient to obtain a new loan from the IMF. In view of the measures the state has undertaken to support the economy and the volume of such support, the IMF may decide that the efforts were insufficient and strengthened structural imbalances in the economy, thus requiring the national currency devaluation. Consideration of a new IMF loan programme is likely to be postponed until after the elections. Taking into account the expected debt refinancing by Russia, Belarus requires addition USD 1.5-2 billion. In August 2015, foreign currency bonds may be repaid from foreign exchange reserves and partially from new loans on foreign and domestic market.
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.