MINSK, 17 February (BelTA) – Belarus' 2016 budget performance is at 100.5% of the revised plan, Belarus' Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin said at the final ministerial board meeting on 16 February. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov, BelTA has learned.
“Last year the national budget revenue totaled Br17.7 billion. The performance of the revised plan on revenue made up 100.5%. The budget expenditure stood at Br16.7%, or 96.5%,” noted the minister. The revenue of the consolidated budget reached Br28.5 billion (100.5% of the revised annual plan), expenditure – Br27.3 billion (97.1%).
Vladimir Amarin stressed that the measures taken to improve the tax and monetary policies and balance out budget performance promoted macroeconomic stability and preservation of gold and forex reserves.
2016 was a year full of unfavorable factors for a smooth budget performance. They included a drop in prices for oil and potash fertilizers, sales slowdown and worsened price conditions for the products made in the country. In his words, the main risks to the budget balance were directly related to a number of factors. “First of all, poor foreign economic activity was behind a considerable reduction of the budget revenue. The national budget lost Br1.3 billion in export customs duties on oil and oil products, and the return on the potash industry. Secondly, there was a need to increase some budget expenditures, including on the family capital and subventions to the social security fund to the total tune of more than Br1 billion. Thirdly, the need to search for additional resources to pay off the country's foreign currency debt. And, finally, the budget had to take its part in debt restructuring of some GDP-forming agricultural companies,” he stated.
According to Vladimir Amarin, the approaches worked out by the Finance Ministry to balance out the national and local budgets were approved by Decree No.78 of 23 February 2016. “The implementation of the measures envisaged in the document allowed for reformatting the budget without any inflation growth. As a result, the budget received more than Br380 million of additional revenue through the increased excise taxes on fuel and tobacco products, higher VAT on telecommunication services, and the repeal of tax privileges on passenger transportation,” he said.
In 2016 the country honored all its commitments in the social sector and also those to pay off the public debt. The surplus of the national budget made up Br1 billion.More about Economy