The Council of Ministers cannot consider money matters if it is refused permission by the National Bank of Belarus. Even the Prime Minister’s business trips should be sanctioned by the NBB’s Head.
What reason lies at the root of finance discipline enhancing? How might such measures influence the country’s economy?
ALIAKSANDR LUKASHENKA, BELARUS’S PRESIDENT:"Reoccurrence of the previous year will lead to the resignation of the Cabinet".
But it is the beginning of the year that is indicative of the failure of governmental plans: the projected export of goods, planned industrial production growth and investments have been disrupted. The representatives of the Cabinet may not get demoted but their authority is being definitely restricted.
ALIAKSANDR SINKEVICH, ECONOMIST:"The authorities were suspicious that they would not manage to keep the rate of the Belarusian rubel and inflation. That is why the right to take tougher measures has been delivered to the National Bank."
The government will have to preliminarily coordinate all the projects concerning credit provisions, state backing, etc with the National Bank. It is a disadvantage and sets a precedent in world practice, experts agree. Even the issue of foreign business trips can become a sore point for the representatives of the Cabinet, financial analyst Siarhei Chaly believes. According to new regulations, the Prime Minister will be not able to devote funds to his trips or delegations on his own. As for the National Bank, it will make full use of its authority.
VALER KARBALEVICH, POLITICAL EXPERT:"The National Bank will not only obtain the right to cut back some state programs but enjoy it as well. The appetites of state enterprises, ministries, departments, etc exceed the economy’s possibilites; one should print money to satiate them."
Printing money would unavoidably result in the escalation of inflation and a series of devaluations. That is why the new order is nothing else but another attempt to find a cure for top officials’ insatiable appetites. But the terapy is tradition, i.e. increase in control and accumulation of power.