MOGILEV, 11 May (BelTA) – It is necessary to continue working on reducing interest rates on housing construction loans. Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko made the statement after the conference held at premises of the Mogilev Oblast Executive Committee on 11 May to discuss problems of the civil engineering industry, BelTA has learned.
Roman Golovchenko said: “This matter hinges on the availability of resources spent on lending. It is no secret that commercial banks are in quite a complicated funding situation right now. A lot due to limited sources of funding. Complaints about lower availability of consumer loans are the product of those who insisted that Belarus should not be able to borrow money on the western market. But the situation is getting better.”
As an example Roman Golovchenko mentioned Belarusbank, which had resumed its housing construction loan program. “However, the interest rate is high for now – about 23%. It is necessary to continue working on reducing it and it is not easy. We are channeling all the credit resources and budget resources into completing the state-facilitated housing construction program. It costs considerable financial resources, which commercial banks need in order to grant loans and the state budget needs in order to cheapen interest rates,” the prime minister said.
Roman Golovchenko assured that the housing program for large families and other preferential categories of the population will be fulfilled. As far as commercial interest rates are concerned, Roman Golovchenko mentioned the Russian Federation where the refinancing rate is being reduced little by little. “We expect a similar process in Belarus. We understand the topicality of the matter because not only housing loans but all the consumer loans have become less available. It is a resource the national economy needs to utilize. The interest rates are not going to drop drastically any time soon. The rates would go up in the past only to rebound later on. They could go up as high as 40% and above. But later on the situation would get better. I am convinced we will be able to manage this period, too,” the prime minister stressed.
The shortage of loans has not affected overdue construction projects, Roman Golovchenko added. “There is a certain number of ready apartments that have not been sold. But it is a standard situation. As a rule, apartments sell like hot cakes when exchange rates of currencies fluctuate. They sell but there are no major assets frozen in the civil engineering industry. We've discussed ways to stimulate demand and work out new programs and mechanisms together with banks. For instance, payment grace periods. Such tasks were formulated as a result of the meeting,” Roman Golovchenko remarked.