Barys Zhaliba: Authorities rob population in efforts to save economy
14:24, — Economics
Belarusians won't be able to pay for utilities if prices triple.
Economic Barys Zhaliba spoke to charter97.org about the proposal by the minister of economy to triple utility prices.
“Snapkou said lately what average salary we would have next year. The authorities are more modest in their promises, because they have learnt the lesson that the irresponsible growth of GDP and salaries leads to financial instability in economy, decreasing living standards and so on. He said the average salary would be $628, but it is $621 now. There's a question how people will pay the tripled utility prices. It means the government provides a policy of degrading living standards and robbing the population. Most Belarusians receive salaries lower than the average one. How will they and their families live?” the economist noted.
The expert is confident that economy and salaries should be raised instead of utility prices.
“It was the artificial growth of salaries, 20% per year. We hear now that it almost won't change next year. Something is wrong there. The IMF and other lenders demand we should pay 100% of utility costs. I share this opinion, because it is normal for developed countries with a market economy. But real incomes and wages of consumers of these services should be raised. The current government cannot do it. It was proved many times,” Barys Zhaliba emphasised.
The expert says Belarusians cannot afford the increase.
“Belarus's economy is on the verge of collapse, a decline in export and so on. We need to find a foreign investor to save the situation, but we haven't found it yet. The government should think about it rather than calculating how many percents of utility costs people must pay. If there are no external sources to back the economy, it is supported by money of the population. It is another step in this direction,” the economist said.
Belarusian minister of economy Mikalai Snapkou said at a meeting of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers that the level of reimbursement of state's expenses on public utilities would rise to 50%.
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