July 6 – July 12, 2020
The ruling elite

The state has promised enhanced support for the public sector and simultaneously increased pressure on the private sector and the media

The situation has not changed
The state has promised enhanced support for the public sector and simultaneously increased pressure on the private sector and the media

By Zmicier Kuchlej

The Belarusian authorities aim to preserve current economic policy which allows micro-management interventions. They have also announced plans to set pay limits in the private sector, tighten information regulation, and introduce additional restrictions on the Internet and social media.

The government has announced plans to step up support for the public sector and allocate additional funds to public enterprises regardless of their performance. Prime Minister Halauchanka visited several large public industrial giants and promised financial aid. Authorities aim to preserve the social function of public enterprises, which is to retain employment and prevent layoffs en masse.

Additionally, the president has promised major investment in the public sector, the lack of reforms in the next five years, and a return to a planned economy. Lukashenka also has ordered to switch to electric cars in five years.

The Belarusian leadership continued to purchase the public sector’s loyalty: wages in the public sector exceeded 84% of the national average, totaling BYN 1034 in June (7.2% more than in May 2020).

Authorities have mounted pressure on private business and resumed interventions in its activities. Lukashenka has instructed the government to tie salaries in the private sector to the average pay at ten ‘leading’ Belarusian enterprises.

Lukashenka has promised to deal with the freedom of speech in Belarus. That said, most bloggers with a political agenda are already behind bars facing criminal charges.

Law enforcers continue purges at large businesses associated with former Belgazprombank head Babaryka. Last week, Anatoly Hramovich, a former director of the Financial Investigation Department of the State Control Committee and now a banker, was detained within the Belgazprombank case.

Overall, the growth in support for the public sector and inflated wages before the elections are likely to lead to greater inflation after the elections.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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