Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Belarusian state will raise housing tariffs continuously, but moderately

Belarus in focus

Chairman of the Belarusian State Control Committee Anfimov said that before March 1st, housing and communal services tariffs would be recalculated downwards. In January 2016, compared with December 2015, subsidised heating and hot water tariffs went up by 33.3%, cold water and sanitation - by 3.54 times, heating and hot water tariffs by 83.4%, and electricity - by 29.5%. The significant increase in housing and communal services tariffs has caused a negative reaction of the population and increased tension in society. The president had to intervene and initiate criminal prosecution of 13 officials in order to relieve tension among the population and step-up discipline in the state apparatus, particularly after the release of some convicts - former officials. It should be noted, that a substantial increase in housing and communal services tariffs was made against the background of the talks with the IMF and the EFCD over loans, and their requirement to reform housing and communal services. The president’s statement about recalculating and reducing the tariffs has actually coincided with the EFCD decision to grant a loan. The authorities are likely to use the traditional approach and increase tariffs below the required level. This has already happened several times: officials talked about a significant increase in tariffs (or introduction of a new charges and taxes), but then reduced their appetite and increased tariffs only by a small amount (or introduced only one tax).