Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

National Bank May Print More Money to Pay Short-term Debts

The National Bank of Belarus may print more money to settle the country's short-term debts, presidential hopeful Yaraslaw Ramanchuk said in an interview with BelaPAN.

Referring to the World Bank's estimates, the deputy chairman of the United Civic Party said that the country's short-term debts, which include the government's, banks' and businesses' debts, totaled $9.9 billion.

"The amount of debts was somewhat lower last year," he said. "But they managed to pay them off with the help of external borrowing. It's unclear so far where money could be taken this year."

"Yes, banks and businesses will borrow something but the deficit will total around $7 billion," Mr. Ramanchuk, a prominent economist, predicted.

He said that the amount of cash circulating in Belarus had already increased in June.
In another move to raise funds for cutting the deficit, the government could sell the Belaruskali potash fertilizer giant to a private investor, Mr. Ramanchuk said.

"I believe the authorities will try to use both options - both selling the enterprise and printing money," he said, warning that the latter move would lead to higher inflation and the rubel's lower exchange rate.

He also linked the Minsk authorities' plans to move a number of industrial enterprises out of the city to government officials' desire to take possession of them.

"Government officials who have a sufficient capital must move to invest it properly," the politician said.