Belarusian authorities use decree on social parasitism to reduce workers' wage claims
The Belarusian authorities have amended the controversial decree on social parasitism. The population is becoming more discontent as the authorities increase financial pressure and add new population groups to the list of those liable to pay the tax - according to the latest reports, the tax authorities have sent a tax notice to circa 400 000 people, or 9% of the employed in the economy (4.4 million people in H 12016). By amending the "decree on social parasitism", the Belarusian authorities have actually admitted its shortcomings and have yielded to the pressure from the society. Nevertheless, the authorities are unable to ensure that everyone gets a job and use the decree to reduce state employers’ claims for a pay rise. Meanwhile, the opposition has a chance to increase its popular support due to the rise of discontent in society with lower incomes amid increasing taxes and tariffs for government services.
According to Decree No. 221 of June 23rd, 2017, deadlines for the completion of foreign trade operations have been extended from 90 to 180 days for exports and from 60 to 90 days for imports. Delayed payments entailed a fine up to 2% of the transaction cost for each day of the delay, but could not exceed the total cost of the transaction. Most companies, when working with new counterparties, require a deferred payment for a period of three to six months. Due to the new regulation, violations are likely to reduce in number, so as the fines. Trade enterprises are likely to expand the assortment list due to the supply of new products in small lots, and the assortment list of exported Belarusian goods could expand, too. The new terms for completing foreign trade transactions would enable medium and small companies on the foreign trade market, exporters and importers are likely to grow in number and the geography of export-import operations could expand.