30 Aug 2010 12:41

Belarus inflation forecast at 7%-8% in 2011

MINSK. Aug 30 (Interfax) - Belarus will have 7%-8% inflation in 2011, the head of the National Bank said in a report to President Alexander Lukashenko.

"Given inflation targeted at 7%-8% in 2011, the refinancing rate at the end of 2011 will equal 8%-10% and rates on new loans for non-financial sector companies will equal 10%-13%," National Bank Chairman Petr Prokopovich said, the presidential press service reported.

Bank assets will increase 27%-30% next year, Prokopovich said.

Fluctuations in the value of the national currency will remain under 8%. Belarus' gold and foreign currency reserves will increase by no less than $1.2 billion in 2011, he said.

Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky said the draft of key parameters for socioeconomic development of Belarus in 2011 calls for GDP to grow 9%-10% in 2011, industrial output to rise 9%-9.5% and investment in fixed assets to increase 16%-17%.

"The nation's tax system will also undergo substantial change. In 2011 we plan to completely elimination local collection for development of territories, the local tax on services, three payments under the environmental tax," he said.

In addition, beginning next year only one profit tax declaration will be made a year, although the tax will be paid quarterly. Advance payments on VAT and excise taxes will be eliminated. The timing of VAT payments - monthly, quarterly - will be determined by the taxpayer independently, regardless of the size of revenue, in contrast to the situation today. The number of VAT payments will decline from 72 a year to 4-12.

Prokopovich said the average salary in Belarus would rise to the equivalent of $1,000 a month by the end of 2015. Belarus also expects to post a surplus on trade in goods and services in 2014, Prokopovich said, citing socioeconomic forecasts for the 2011-2015 period.