IMF Concerned about Belarus Privatization

Privatization in Belarus is causing concern to the IMF (International Monetary Fund). As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced on Monday, February 10, by Head of the IMF in Belarus Tom Richardson at a press conference in Minsk.

He said that further privatization is important for Belarus but he emphasised that this process must be 'transparent and based on competition.' He added that privatization should be 'aimed at attracting as much income for the budget as possible.' Mr Richardson went on to say that a special budgeting fund might be set up in Belarus so that income from privatization can be used to finance important long-term programmes. The IMF representative said that this idea had been discussed at meetings between IMF experts and members of the Belarus government. 'This fund must be part of the budget and must be given parliamentary supervision so that it is transparent like any budget,' Mr Richardson emphasised.

He added that IMF experts had also seen other areas of the Belarus economy. Mr Richardson said that in 2002 'there was less competitiveness between enterprises, there were more loans and debts as well as arrears of wages and tax debt.'

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