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06 July 2022, 09:01

Belarus' trade minister explains price stabilization and oversight plan

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 6 July (BelTA) – Belarusian Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Minister Aleksei Bogdanov has commented on the action plan to stabilize prices, improve pricing methodology and oversight over compliance with pricing legislation for 2022, BelTA has learned.

“We have a number of tools to curb and stabilize prices. Some of them were set forth in the Council of Ministers' Resolution No. 214 that provides for strict price regulation, among other things. The adopted program envisages a set of economic measures aimed at stabilizing prices in the short term,” Aleksei Bogdanov said.

The program includes four main blocks. “The first one seeks to prevent product shortages on the domestic market. The first block includes an import substitution program and the import of goods that are not produced in our country. Regulators need to create conditions so that critical imports are available at an affordable price and in a broad assortment. At the same time, domestic producers need to increase the output and expand the product assortment while minimizing the use of imported raw materials and components,” the minister said.

“The second block has to do with economic measures, in particular, setting energy tariffs in Russian rubles, updating programs to reduce production costs, improving the public procurement system, and eliminating unnecessary mediation,” the minister added.

The next block provides for improving the pricing methodology and oversight activities. Watchdog agencies plan to intensify cooperation with other interested parties to identify price collusion, improve pricing for medicines and medical services, and increase the sales of domestically produced goods.

In addition, a number of measures are to be taken to reduce inflationary expectations. “We will update the public and businesses on what actions the government will take to curb inflationary processes in the country,” Aleksei Bogdanov noted.

A reminder, the government and the State Control Committee approved a 2022 action program to stabilize prices, improve pricing methods and monitor compliance with pricing legislation. This strategic plan envisages a number of measures to achieve the following objectives: to meet the domestic needs for goods (legalization of parallel imports, production of import-substituting agricultural products, improvement of the stabilization fund system), to improve economic and administrative regulation (making payments for energy in Russian rubles, revision of cost reduction programs, improvement of public procurement, update of the list of goods subject to price regulation), to improve pricing methodology and control. It is also planned to introduce a single centralized digital platform in social security, to extend the discount agreement, to implement a price monitoring mechanism for imported goods, and to introduce an analytical price monitoring system by controlling cash registers.

Most of the planned measures are at a high stage of readiness, some are already being implemented.

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