The Council of Ministers of Belarus issued resolution No. 1094 on December 28, 2016 to enact the medium-term financial program of the central state budget for 2017-2019, the press service of the Belarusian government reported.
The document stipulates a number of key economic indicators as well as social and economic development targets for the next three years. In accordance with the document Belarus’ GDP growth rate is expected to reach 100.2% in 2017, 101.4% in 2018, and 102.2% in 2019. The refinancing rate of Belarus’ central bank is expected to be 16% per annum at the end of 2017, 13% at the end of 2018, and 10% at the end of 2019. The U.S. dollar is expected to trade at Br2.2114 in 2017, Br2.2267 in 2018, and Br2.2452 in 2019. Urals brand oil is expected to cost $35 per barrel in 2017, $42 per barrel in 2018, and $50 per barrel in 2019.
The state debt to the GDP ratio is supposed to stay at 45% throughout the entire period. Revenues of the state budget are expected to equal Br18.235 billion in 2017, Br19.936 billion in 2018, and Br21.878 billion in 2019. Expenses of the state budget are estimated at Br16.739 billion in 2017, Br18.557 billion in 2018, and Br20.145 billion in 2019. The surplus of the state budget is expected to total Br1.496 billion in 2017, Br1.379 billion in 2018, and Br1.732 billion in 2019. The document also limits expenses of the central state budget on government programs and subprograms in accordance with the list approved by the Council of Ministers’ resolution No. 148 dated February 23, 2016 (excluding the state investment program). The financial program has been put together on the basis of a conservative evaluation of Belarus’ social and economic development forecast for the medium-term. Revenues of the central state budget in 2017-2019 were calculated taking into account standard proceeds from nationwide taxes, duties, and non-repayable receipts, which were introduced for the year 2017 in accordance with the legislation. The program will be implemented bearing in mind the need to balance the available revenues and sources of financing the deficit of the central state budget and the municipal budget. Other considerations will include the timely and full payments on the state debt, the need to form the central state budget with a surplus as large as at least 25% of the sum required to pay out the state debt in the relevant financial year. A deficit of the municipal budgets will not be allowed. The tax burden on the economy will not exceed 26% of the GDP. The standard proceeds from nationwide taxes to budgets of all levels are supposed to stay unchanged for at least three years unless stated otherwise by the legislation. The implementation of the medium-term financial program of the central state budget will also take into account the need to better spend the budget resources and secure correlations between budget appropriations and results produced by customers of government programs.
By March 1, the Council of Ministers expects to receive from the Economy Ministry a draft legal act that will determine how government agencies and other organizations will work together to form the social and economic development forecast and adjust its main parameters. Over the course of 2017 the Finance Ministry will have to make proposals to adjust parameters of the financial program on the basis of verified main parameters of the social and economic development forecast and the major monetary management guidelines. If necessary, customers of government programs will have to initiate amendments to the government programs to match the spending limits of the central state budget on government programs and subprograms in accordance with the 2017-2019 medium-term financial program. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)
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