“The authorities’ policies to contain the crisis have been in the right direction.“ – said Chris Jarvis, head of the IMF mission to Belarus, during a press conference concluding a visit of IMF representatives in the country.
While expressing his concern for living standard, Mr. Jarvis encouraged limiting government spending and „wage restraint“, which might take a heavy toll on Belarusians struggling to make ends meet during the crisis.
Mr. Jarvis prised Belarusian authorities for floating ruble, and called on immediate stepts to fight inflation: „The depreciation so far has helped to bring down the current account deficit, which is an important and welcome development, but these gains would be eroded by continued high inflation. To achieve external sustainability and domestic stability, it is important that the Government and the National Bank take action now to reduce inflation.“
„The authorities should also continue with and accelerate their work on structural reform, especially enterprise reform, privatization, price liberalization and banking sector reform.“ – said Mr. Jarvis commenting on budget policies planned for 2012.
In terms of IMF credit, Mr. Jarvis did not give any specifics: „ Before program negotiations could begin, as a first step, the authorities will need to demonstrate a clear commitment—including at the highest level—to stability and reform and to reflect this commitment in their actions.“ – he concluded his speech.