Members: the former head of the National Bank of Belarus Stanislav Bogdanovich and expert Belarusian Economic Research and Education Center Dmitry Kruk.
What are the reasons for shortages of currency?
Valery Karbalevich"The situation in the foreign exchange market in Belarus is bad. As it is difficult to buy the currency exchange offices, there are queues. The problem — to buy the currency on monetary and financial market. In fact, there was "gray" market exchange. Company-importers are beginning to sell goods at the rate of 3,600 rubles per dollar. What are the reasons for shortages of currency? "
Stanislav Bogdanovich"These causes are three years. Belarus is living beyond its means. Foreign trade is unbalanced. We have a month to consume more than 700 million dollars more than generate it.
There nezbalyansavanasts between the ruble money supply, money supply and monetary mass of commodities. Therefore, increasing the prices of goods. And the price should rise and the currency. "
Dmitry Kruk"Yes, there are structural reasons. For a long time maintained a negative balance of the current account deficit. In the previous period, we have it financed by foreign loans. Now these external loans for a period of interrupted. Therefore the problem and escalated.
But there is already a shortage of a lot of time. The problem was exacerbated because it is now that the National Bank has restricted access to foreign currency trading on the cashless market segments. This caused an excessive demand on the cash market. "
Assessment of the actions of the National Bank
Karbalevich"On Thursday Prokopovych blamed the current problems of some provocateurs and the media, who allegedly spread rumors that it will soon devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. But experts say that these problems were created by the actions of the National Bank and the government, in particular — the restrictions on the purchase of foreign currency by the monetary exchange. That's what says Mr. Crook. How fair actions of the National Bank and the government? "
Bahdankevich"National Bank is itself a problem nezbalyansavanastsi between the ruble mass inflow of currency and commodity mass. National Bank has increased the amount of money commercial banks to lend to the economy in three times in two months (from 8 to 28 trillion rubles). This is not normal.
If you combine the National Bank and commercial banks, it appears that the figure will be below zero. On January 1 was plus 2.3 billion dollars, and now — minus $ 1.1 billion. Foreign loans were, but they'll pass. "
Karbalevich"But according to the official statistics of the National Bank's gold reserves are about 5.4 billion dollars."
Bahdankevich"So. It reserves of the National Bank. But commercial banks at 1 January, net foreign assets were negative $ 6 trillion in rubles. And on March 1 this negative value was 12.6 trillion rubles. That is, the National Bank took the resources of commercial banks. "
Crook"What is the question of moral choice. If the authorities are not willing to reform, then one does not solve the problem of devaluation. After all, it is necessary to change the macroeconomic policy. First of all it is necessary to stop the stimulation of domestic demand.
Devaluation can stimulate Belarusian exporters. But Belarus is very dependent on energy imports and exports a lot of energy commodities. Therefore, Belarus devaluation is not as effective as for other economies.
The negative side of the devaluation will be a negative impact on the banking system. The result may be the dollarization of deposits and withdrawal of deposits from the banks. "
What to do?
Karbalevich"What are the options out of the critical situation? It seems the only way by which tries to keep the Belarusian leadership is foreign loans. On Thursday Prokopovych "reassured" the people of the fact that here we take loans and will fund reserves. The authorities expect to receive $ 2 billion in the EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund and take 1 billion in Russia. That's it? "
Bahdankevich"Of course not limited to the devaluation. Need a set of reforms to improve the efficiency of the economy. And one devaluation will only make people poorer. Take out loans and praestsi — is not an option. It is necessary to limit the growth of the ruble money supply. Need to reduce budget spending, reduce government officials. We must live within our means. "
Crook"It is necessary to reduce the stimulation of domestic demand through the growth of the monetary base. A large part of it is directed to the maintenance of state programs. If we talk about long-term task, it is to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the economy.
Thus, the growth rate of external debt — it's bad. But we can not allow a shock to the Belarusian economy. The result can be a loss of 20 years of independence. So now to bring down the excessive demand for foreign currency, you need to take out loans. All a matter of what's next. If praestsi them — it's bad. But if the reforms — that is another option. "