Tighter conditions of fuel sales

April 22, 2016 17:55

Vehicles with foreign registration number plates while filling fuel tanks at the Belarusian petrol stations in the border areas and on international highways can pay with hard currency only.

Comment

Given the current environment: 1) when further increases of fuel prices in the country is impossible for political reasons, 2) the continuing disparity in prices, and 3) the multiplicity of exchange rates, and 4) an acute shortage of foreign currency at the “Belneftekhim” concern, - the decision to protect the domestic market and to increase foreign currency earnings of the refinery is only logical, although not market-based.

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The country's leadership has instructed the local authorities to raise minimum wages at enterprises by the end of 2019 to BYN 1,000, which would lead to an increase in the average wage in the economy as a whole to BYN 1 500. The pace of wage growth in 2017 is insufficient to ensure payroll at BYN 1000 by late 2017 without manipulating statistical indicators. In order to fulfil the president’s order, the government would have to increase budgetary expenditures on wages in healthcare and education, enterprises – to carry out further layoffs and expand the practice of taking loans to pay wages and restrict investment in modernisation of fixed assets. In 2010, the artificial increase in wages led to a threefold devaluation in 2011, an increase in the average salary to BYN 1500 will not match the capabilities of the economy and would lead to yet another devaluation.