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30 January 2015

Scheduled IMF mission to start working in Belarus in March

GRODNO, 30 January (BelTA) – A planned IMF mission will work in Belarus in March 2015, BelTA learned from Belarusian Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin in Grodno on 29 January.

"We continue working with the IMF. In March a planned mission of the organization will work in the country to study our situation. We don't rule out any possibilities as far as financial cooperation is concerned. But the consideration of these matters will need time, at least several months," said the Finance Minister.

Vladimir Amarin explained that a special government program was in development. The program will specify and stipulate national social and economic development parameters as well as parameters of the state budget and other targets. Plans have been made to publish the document in late February. The official also noted that the Finance Ministry is going through technical motions getting ready to release Belarusian eurobonds but the situation on the securities market is uncomfortable for now and it is too early to talk about when Belarus will release eurobonds.

Speaking about the development of Grodno Oblast in 2015, the Finance Minister stressed that the oblast administration will have to stick to the approved budget figures. It is possible that the budget may be corrected for the sake of optimizing expenses and finding more revenue sources. As far as the fulfillment of investment programs and housing construction are concerned, the relevant state budget funds and bank resources have been appropriated and confirmed, yet additional sources will be sought to commission the facilities under construction and all the housing construction projects that have been started. Efforts will be put into fulfilling housing construction programs as much as possible.

As part of the personal reception of citizens on 29 January the Finance Minister met with heads of two major Grodno-based companies. Yuri Chernyshev, Director General of OAO Grodno Tobacco Factory Neman, briefed the Finance Minister about the financial state of the companies, foreign currency spending, export and import volumes. Due to recent changes in excise duties and the current differences in prices the state-run company, which is one of the oblast's top taxpayers, is operating in the red due to competition represented by transnational corporations. The possibility of raising prices for the company's products was discussed. Abdulvagab Vagabov, Director General of OAO Grodnopromstroy, talked to the Finance Minister about the financial state of Grodnopromstroy.

The Finance Minister took note of all the issues he had been informed about. The relevant decisions will be made.

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