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22 April 2021, 13:01

Belarus to extend options to use family capital ahead of due time

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MINSK, 22 April (BelTA) – Belarus intends to expand opportunities to use family capital ahead of due time. The relevant draft decree has already been drawn up and submitted to the government, Marina Artemenko, the head of the population, gender and family policy department at the Belarusian Labor and Social Security Ministry, told journalists during a web-based press briefing, BelTA has learned.

According to Marina Artemenko, thanks to the family capital program, the number of families with third and subsequent children in Belarus has increased. Since 2015, around 20,000 such children are born in Belarus annually, which accounts for 23% of the total.

As many as 97,000 deposit accounts with the total sum of Br2.5 billion were opened for large families under Belarus' family capital program. “This is almost as much as the yearly funds earmarked for paying state benefits to families with children,” Marina Artemenko pointed out.

So far, 31,000 large families used family capital ahead of due time (as of 1 March, this sum exceeded Br440 million, or 18% of the sum in the deposit accounts). “Since 2020, more large families have decided to use family capital ahead of due time, thanks to the amendments to the legislation that allow using family capital for housing and education, which are important issues for large families,” Marina Artemenko noted.

"The government has already submitted a draft decree on family capital which provides for the expansion of its use," she added.

As the draft decree was prepared the opinion of large families and government bodies was studied and most popular uses were chosen among.

For example, the draft decree proposes to further expand the options of early use of family capital to address housing issues, in particular, to use it to repay the debt on a loan in cases when citizens independently entered into a housing construction contract (now only in cases of referral for housing construction in due course). It also proposes to use it to repay housing loans provided by organizations at the place of work of citizens and to purchase a share in the ownership of residential premises.

In the field of education, the family capital funds will be allowed to be used to pay for education in institutions of higher and vocational education of consumer cooperation and universities of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus.

The draft decree also provides for a completely new area of use of the family capital - to purchase products of social rehabilitation and adaptation for people with disabilities.

"The draft decree contains measures to limit the misuse of family capital funds," Marina Artemenko added.

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