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22 April 2022, 14:19

Belarusian finance minister explains budget policy constraints

Yuri Seliverstov
Yuri Seliverstov

MINSK, 22 April (BelTA) – Belarusian Finance Minister Yuri Seliverstov talked to reporters and explained how the budget policy will be implemented and what consolidation means in current conditions, BelTA has learned.

Yuri Seliverstov noted: “Consolidation of the budget provides, let's say, for gathering up everything into one pool, gathering all the revenues in order to cater to the goals we have. Refusing to cover some expenses is part of it.”

In his words, spending optimization is a standard phenomenon for budgets of all levels and in all countries. “Naturally it is always easier to try to get free money from the state budget and spend it on your own projects. But the budget does not get these resources out of thin air. The resources have to be earned and it's been difficult recently. This is why we cannot simply take and spend it on every thing we want,” he said.

The need to consolidate the budget was also mentioned during the meeting with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko. It is necessary to prune all the unnecessary expenses, gather all the revenues, evaluate the resources, which may not work that effectively and incorporate them into the state budget, and direct the money to the necessary goals.

According to the Finance Ministry, the state budget had a surplus in January 2022. “The result was good. All the expenses were paid for, including social expenses,” Yuri Seliverstov. He also reminded it had been recently decided to raise salaries for public sector workers and pensions.

“The budget execution is steady. Certainly, there are new challenges we have to address. We have to transform. But as the head of state instructed, all the social things, all the commitments of the state will be honored as usual, unconditionally,” Yuri Seliverstov stressed.

Budget expenses have already been reduced preemptively, for instance, by forgoing major overhauls, acquisition of some kinds of equipment, and renovation of the automobile fleet.

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