The government cannot decide upon economic plans for the future year.
The prepared forecast experts have estimated as a realistic one is not acceptable to Aliaksandr Lukashenka and he requires growth. The situation is accentuated by uncertainty on oil supply issue. Belarusian refineries, as is known, are not fully loaded, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes .
This week the government of Belarus continues work on forecast documents, in a week they will be considered by the "parliament" during the last session of current composition. In the end of the last week the government presented plans for the next year, and informed "deputies" about parameters of the budget and tax policy. The Ministry of Finance even placed a draft budget on its site, which gave an opportunity to assess the document.
The main financial document is based on the fact that economy of Belarus will grow by 0.2%, the oil will cost $35 per barrel and the rate of Russian ruble against dollar will equal to 75:1. In this regard, almost the same expenditures and the revenue are allowed for the next year, and a provided surplus intends to be directed to redemption of numerous state debts. It has been offered to cut subsidies to agricultural sector almost by quarter, as well as to reduce the state support in general. The experts have already spoken out that the government has finally properly estimated possibilities of the economy, although some populism of 0.2% was allowed. The matter is that international experts do not foresee restoration of the economic growth in Belarus in 2017.
The expert community had almost no doubt that "the deputies" would not introduce any proposals and plans would be approved in such form. However, the meeting held by Lukashenka in the end of the last week gave the ground for local observers to assume that the ruler, as it used to be before, would order to fix documents and thus would estrange them from the Belarusian reality.
Lukashenka's press service was mean with comments. It was reported that Lukashenka had demanded "harsh" plans, which could boost "the development". At the same time, there were voiced other forecast parameters in the course of a meeting. In particular, the economy must grow not by 0.2%, but by 1.7%. Head of the government Andrey Kabyakau, admittedly, explained to the journalists those were just two scenarios – optimistic and pessimistic. However, no amendments gave the ground that Lukashenka had forced the Ministry to change plans.
This story repeats every year - the government offers to touch the reality, but the dictator turns to populism and the situation is getting even worse. At the same time economic plans are never fulfilled.
The forecast is based on oil and gas deliveries from Russia (oil - 24 million tons and gas - 20 billion cubic meters). However, the oil-and-gas dispute between countries has resulted in reduction of oil deliveries. For example, in the third quarter Belarus will have only 3.5 billion tons instead of 5.8 billion, and in the fourth - 3 billion tons. Lukashenka has already called it a pressure put on the country and threatened to scale down the participation in integration projects.
The fact that the government is making plans without having guaranteed contracts for the future year and easily playing rates reduces the credibility level. The real sector of the economy is concerned about other issues. Most enterprises work a three-day week. And according to media, Krichevgruzavto - Mahilyeu region, works only one hour a week. Since September 19, the enterprise involved in car repairing and freight activity and with a public share of 37% has worked only on Mondays from 8 to 9 am.
A well-known sewing enterprise Serge is recognized a bankrupt. Now its property is being sold. This year two more sewing companies – Vesnyanka and Linzh - have bankrupted.
According to the Supreme Court, there are 3094 cases on bankruptcy. 87 of them are city-forming ones, those which will be recognized bankrupts as a last resort. To compare: there were 2300 cases last year.
In the end of the last week it became known Olympic Casino scaled down its activity in Belarus. It is a useless business in the country which rapidly turns to poverty. The Russians got less interested in it as well.