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Belarus' 2018 inflation target seen as achievable

Economy 05.03.2018 | 12:51
An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 5 March (BelTA) – There are no grounds for concern about meeting the inflation target in 2018, Belarusian Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Minister Vladimir Koltovich said in an interview view Belarus 1 TV Channel, BelTA has learned.

“The presidential decree sets forth a certain inflation rate target. Today there are no grounds for concern about the non-fulfillment of this instruction,” Vladimir Koltovich remarked.

Price is the mirror of the economy, he underlined. “On the one hand, it should stimulate the operation of enterprises. On the other hand, it should meet people's expectations. This balance is found by setting certain indicators rather than manually. In the first place, price is formed by prices of the so-called natural monopolies – energy, transport, and communication prices. The biggest problem in this regard is the fact that most companies with a natural monopoly do not have individual accounting systems. This means that the all-in-one-pot method is applied to calculate the costs,” the minister said.

The work is underway in this field, he added. “We have set up a working group together with the Transport Ministry and drawn up a certain schedule. It is necessary to outline the reasons for price growth, the price growth rate, and the related criteria. The main criterion is people's income. The second one is prices on comparable markets,” Vladimir Koltovich emphasized.

“Prices should both grow and drop. This is a problem for our companies. In the neighboring states, prices for some products are lower than those offered by our agricultural manufacturers. The latter should learn to work in a competitive environment and sell products at prices as on the common market,” he stressed.

In his words, according to the legislation, a company is viewed as a dominant one when it holds at least 35% of the market. “This list includes milk processing companies from the standpoint of raw material purchasing. In this regard, we suggest signing agreements to set price controls for the dominant firms. For dairy companies, we offer to use such method as integration with core inflation rate (4%). Those companies that have investment projects or some other grounds are considered individually. We set a certain price growth index for them,” the minister pointed out.

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