The Belarusian government and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus should take vigorous measures to reduce inflation, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said as he heard out a report of the Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB), Nadezhda Yermakova, on 11 May.
“I know in general terms everything you will tell me about the ruble exchange rate, deposits, operation of the economy. I think it is time for primarily the National Bank, the government to get down to inflation problems. It is time to calm down people,” the President said.
According to the head of state, at present there are no causes for inflation growth, with the foreign trade demonstrating a surplus. “Basically we are resolving the problems that we have nlot been able to resolve for years or even decades. Now the situation is getting even. I stress it one more time that earnings of the population will rise. It has been decided. Let us think what we can do about inflation,” Alexander Lukashenko said. The President remarked that inflation in Belarus is controllable, partially thanks to the artificial equalization of consumer prices with those in neighboring countries.
Nadezhda Yermakova informed Alexander Lukashenko about the state of the currency market, formation of gold and foreign exchange reserves, lending to the economy. “The measures the National Bank is taking in monetary management, interest rate policy, exchange rate policy have helped tame inflation,” she said.
The President also tasked the banking sector with paying additional attention to lending to effective investment projects and construction of homes for people in need.
Besides, instructions were issued to maintain and increase the gold and foreign exchange reserves. At present they stand at $8 billion. According to Nadezhda Yermakova, both corporations and individuals are vigorously selling foreign currency, the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble has stabilized. The National Bank intends to continue a rigorous monetary policy and take measures to reduce inflation. The decision to reduce the refinancing rate to 34% per annum as from 16 May was made the day before. The inflation allows it and the refinancing rate will stay on the positive side of the inflation in accordance with IMF-recommended standards and calculation procedures.