Belarus PM gives orders to step up control over prices
MINSK, 31 October (BelTA) – It is necessary to step up control over the price situation. Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas made the statement during the Council of Ministers session held on 30 October to discuss results of the national economy’s performance in January-September 2018, BelTA has learned.
Sergei Rumas said: “Inflation is within the targeted range – 3.7% as against December 2017, with the January-September 2018 forecast at 4.3% at most. We saw a spike of 0.8% in September. We have two more months to go till the year ends. I would like the antimonopoly regulation and trade minister, all the executives to step up control over the price situation.”
In January-September 2018 the export of merchandise and services rose by 18.3% from the same period of last year. Growth was registered across the board. Belarus secured a foreign trade surplus of $580 million, however, the figure is $210 million less than in January-August 2017.
The prime minister stressed that in January-September 2018 the most important economic indicators were within the targeted range. The economic growth rate in the period totaled 103.7% while the forecast stands at 103.3%. The surplus of the central state budget was Br3.38 billion or 3.8% of the GDP. “It allowed us to fully honor our debt commitments on time. On the whole, the results are not bad but the GDP dynamics is starting to slow down. Gomel Oblast and Mogilev Oblast failed to hit their assigned gross regional product targets. Falling agricultural output had a considerable effect on the development of these regions. Yet the two regions are among the leaders in the growth of expenses. As far as the merchandise export growth rate is concerned, the two regions are at the bottom of the list. I would like the governors of these regions to focus on annual targets and measures to hit these targets,” said Sergei Rumas.
The complicated situation in Belarusian agriculture has been caused by complicated weather conditions, which have resulted in reduced yield of cereals and grain legumes. As a result, crop husbandry industry reported a 4.1% decrease in comparison with last year. “The harvesting campaign is nearly over. The head of state would like all the work to be finished on 7 November,” added the prime minister.
Sergei Rumas mentioned satisfactory growth rate in the Belarusian civil engineering industry. “At the same time the volume of housing construction keeps falling – 91.1% so far. There are problems with hitting the targeted export of services. I would like the architecture and construction minister to present a report on the situation in the industry, on progress of the most important infrastructure projects, on issues relating to housing construction and financing. I would like to learn reasons behind the falling export of services and what has been done to increase it,” said the Belarusian head of government.
Sergei Rumas pointed out that the government has two months to go before the year ends. “We need prompt measures to invigorate the development of the economy without disrupting its balance. We need measures to accomplish the goals assigned to the government. Basic approaches are well-known. They are specified by the government action program, which will be presented in the parliament tomorrow,” said Sergei Rumas. “It is necessary to at least preserve the positive economic trends till the end of the year. The accomplishment of five-year plans depends on it. I would like you to focus on concrete measures, which will allow hitting this year’s targets.”