Situation in BelarusIn the field of economics and finance, tne NAM states:
— Pre-default state
The state debt of Belarus has grown since the beginning of the year by more than 29% and amounted to more than 22 billion US dollars (hereinafter referred to as dollars) — this is three times more than the country’s gold and foreign exchange reserves. In total, under Lukashenka, the national debt has increased almost 65 times. The gross external debt (the debt of both the state and enterprises) even exceeded 41 billion dollars. For every able-bodied citizen of Belarus there is more than 8 thousand dollars of debt.
— Reduction of gold reserves, ruble devaluation, inflation
Since the beginning of the year, the value of the ruble has decreased by 20%. In August alone, the National Bank directed 1.4 billion dollars from gold and foreign exchange reserves to support the ruble exchange rate, which amounted to 16% of the gold and foreign exchange reserves. Annual inflation in October exceeded 6.2% (1.5% higher than for the whole of 2019), with the government’s plans to increase prices by 4% for the whole of 2020.
— Falling GDP and economic recession
According to government data, Belarus' GDP fell by 1.1%. However, experts already note the government’s underestimation of the level of GDP decline. According to independent estimates, the decline in GDP will be about 5%.
— Low efficiency of enterprises and labor productivity
The net profit of industrial enterprises decreased 2.6 times, while losses increased 5 times. The number of unprofitable enterprises increased by 35%. Warehouse stocks are close to 70% of monthly production — nearly the highest number in the last 5 years. Labor productivity in Belarus is 6 times lower than in the EU countries.
— Falling export
Since the beginning of the year, the export of goods has decreased by 17%, the export of services — by 10%. There is a steep decline in the export of services of IT companies: in September alone, their revenues fell by almost 2 million dollars compared to September last year.
— Budget deficit
For the first time in many years, the budget of Belarus is in deficit: for 9 months, budget expenditures exceeded revenues by 0.8 billion dollars, the republican budget received only 64% of the annual plan. At the end of the year, a budget deficit of about 2 billion dollars is expected — this is more than half of the budget expenditures for 9 months on the social sphere. In connection with that we expect significant decrease of social sphere expenditures, curtailing of financing of the most important state programs and redistribution of resources for the needs of the repressive apparatus.
— Falling incomes and living standards of the population
The average net salary in Belarus in dollar terms is about 420 dollars, and has decreased by 100 dollars since the beginning of the year. The average pension is about 180 dollars and has decreased by 30 dollars since the beginning of the year, and over the past 6 years, it decreased by 80 dollars.
— Decline of investments and repression of business
Foreign investments attracted to the country’s economy in 2020 decreased by 12% comparing to the previous year. The number of new economic entities has decreased by more than 30% (over 10 thousand) in comparison with 2019.
— Banking system instability risks
Deposits of individuals in 2020 in national currency decreased by more than 10%, in foreign currency — by more than 21%. Corporate deposits in rubles decreased by 22%. Illegal blocking of funds on accounts, risks of introducing currency restrictions and a moratorium on the return of deposits increase the outflow of financial resources from banks.
What will the NAM do in the field of economics and finance in order to bring the transition period closer and minimize the damage from the actions of the illegitimate authorities
To prevent the illegitimate government from further aggravating the economic crisis, it is necessary:
- to minimize the possibility of increasing the state debt by negotiating with potential creditors and partners, foreign governments;
- to identify, disclose and prevent possible transactions for the purchase (privatization) of Belarusian enterprises during the crisis on conditions unfavorable for enterprises and the country, negotiate with potential buyers and investors, inform interested parties about the possible application of sanctions;
- to identify, disclose and, if possible, prevent the use by the National Bank and the government of the "printing press" (unjustified emission), the introduction of currency restrictions and a moratorium on the return of deposits.
Inform civil society, business entities and foreign partners:
- about the true state of affairs in the field of economics and finance with the aim of making the necessary decisions promptly, preparing reasonable plans, forecasts and actions;
- about the absence of an economic program in the government and the regime’s inability to prevent the economic collapse of Belarus;
- about revealed corruption schemes, embezzlement and withdrawal from the country of funds of Lukashenka and his close associates, state racketeering against business and coercion to finance the regime in order to take measures to return assets to the country and compensate for damage to the affected parties;
- about the facts of government cuts on social spending, curtailment of funding of major government programs and an increase in spending on the maintenance of the repressive apparatus;
- about distortion of real statistics by the government.
Priority tasks during the transition period that will help restore the economy in Belarus
1. Provide financial support to Belarus from international financial institutions and foreign states, form a stabilization anti-crisis fund with the participation of Russia and the EU, negotiate with creditors of Belarus on the issue of debt restructuring.
2. To form, under the auspices of the Coordination Council and the NAM, a group of experts from among citizens and immigrants from Belarus to develop economic reforms, create a personnel register to form the future government.
3. To develop draft regulations to radically simplify the conditions for doing business and a moratorium on inspections in order to create a favorable investment and business climate, to develop and improve the efficiency of public-private partnerships.
4. Prepare drafts of normative acts on decriminalization of certain economic crimes, as well as on the amnesty of capital and its return to the country.
5. Develop proposals to reduce the fiscal burden on business and support it in times of crisis and pandemic, including through taxation and customs reforms, revision of approaches to collecting contributions to the social security fund. Abolish individual and unreasonable benefits and preferences for individual entities established by Lukashenka’s regulatory acts (including those of limited use), consider reimbursing them.
6. Take measures to optimize the costs of maintaining the state apparatus. Abolish the presidential administration, sell its property (residences, health resorts and hotels, offices, cultural and entertainment facilities, restaurants, other real estate and movable property). To develop proposals for self-restraint of the State Control Committee (SCC), the creation of a single authority to combat crimes in the sphere of economy and finance (by abolishing Department for Financial Investigations and Department for Financial Monitoring of the SCC, Department for Economic Crimes and Department for Organised Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs), creating a single fiscal body on the basis of the Ministry of Finance (by abolishing the Ministry of Taxation and Customs), creating the Ministry of Economic Development (by abolishing Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Housing and Communal Services, and other departments).
7. To develop a package of proposals for the privatization and sale of objects in state and municipal ownership, with the absolute and maximum consideration of the interests of employees.
8. Introduce proposals for the abolition of the exclusive rights of the state and of the business entities designated by it for the import, export and production of certain groups of goods and services. Provide equal access to markets for all business entities, regardless of ownership, based on fair and comprehensive competition.
9. Prepare economic recovery proposals for key enterprises in the public sector, promptly replace government representatives on the supervisory boards of state enterprises.
10. Develop measures to support unemployed and low-income citizens through the payment of appropriate benefits, retraining and integration into the new economic model, and abolish the "decree on social parasitism".
The development of a program to stabilize the economic, tax and financial sectors, as well as structural reforms of the economy will be carried out on the basis of the principles and provisions that are provided for by the Main Directions of Economic Development of Belarus dated October 21, 2020, prepared by the Economic Group of the Coordination Council.
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