Prime Minister: ‘Belarus in very difficult economic situation’

‘In order to be competitive, we should be actively involved in investment activity and modernization, not passively or moderately. It is impossible to do so without accessible loans. What sources can be used? Profitability is not high. Government financing is limited. Foreign direct investment is small. There are almost no proceeds from privatization,’ Mikhail Miasnikovich said in an interview aired on TV channel RTR- Belarus on February, 2014.

Lending is the only remaining source, but loans are no accessible for the real sector of the economy, the top official noted. ‘To have a competitive economy, it is necessary to inject money, but no one will take up loans at 40-percent interest,’ he said.

Mr Miasnikovich admitted that the government had ordered economic entities to borrow for modernization in 2013. Banks should lower there interest rates to at least the level of inflation, he suggested, adding that the government would no longer make banks finance inefficient projects.

The Prime Minister also said that he was going to sign a so-called financing plan the following week. The plan will specify the distribution of public funds for financing housing construction, rural development and other government programs. ‘This will be an exhaustive list,’ he noted.

According to Mr Miasnikovich, banks are able to increase lending by about 55 trillion rubels ($5.7 billion). ‘This amount, coupled with repaid loans, is the money that the government should manage reasonably,’ he said., via BelaPAN

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