The current economic situation in Belarus was discussed during the April 6 videapres conference with the head of the IMF mission Chris Jarvis from headquarters in Washington. It was held in the IMF office in Minsk.
The IMF has not yet received an official request from Minsk to provide new credit. According to the executive board of directors of the Fund, a new program of funding is possible if the official Minsk will fulfill a number of conditions. The Belarusian authorities must implement an economic program that builds trust, provides stability and structural reforms.
In early March, the IMF has prepared a report on Belarus, and from that time the economic situation in the country has not changed. There is not much new changes could to comment, said from Washington, IMF mission chief Chris Jarvis.
"Nevertheless we have seen some deterioration in the foreign exchange market. We see that businesses and individuals to buy foreign currency, there is a flow of ruble deposits in foreign currency. We believe that the reasons for this lie in the fact that during the past year's economic policy was too soft. This overly high credit growth, which last year grew by almost 40%. And it is much more than the increase in real gross domestic product and inflation. And at the end of last year significantly increased wages in the public sector. All this has led to the fact that the competitiveness of Belarus decreased and formed a very high current account deficit. "
Chris Jarvis believes that, in spite of the currency crisis, Belarus will be able to make payments on foreign debt. Answering journalists' questions, Mr. Jarvis also said that the National Bank of Belarus is solvent and in March was able to prevent a significant loss of reserves. Suspension of the National Bank intervention in the foreign exchange market suggests that the National Bank and the Government of Belarus took time out to work out an economic solution to these problems. According to Jarvis, need some exchange rate flexibility. And the presence of multiple exchange rates can cause serious problems.
"The National Bank takes measures to avoid losing their foreign exchange reserves, and at the same time wins with the government time to formulate one set of measures that would restore confidence. I do not know how much time it would require. However, following discussions with the National Bank and the government, we can see that they understand the gravity of the situation and the importance of early healing of the foreign exchange market. "
Causes of the problems in the currency market, according to the IMF representative, are in the areas of economic policy. It is therefore necessary to reduce the budget deficit significantly reduce lending under government programs to tighten monetary policy. Mr. Jarvis said, what you need do more to reduce the current account deficit and restore confidence in the economy and the Belarusian ruble.