World Bank issues $200 mln loan to Belarus

The World Bank has approved the allocation of a $200 million "development" loan to Belarus affected by the global economic crisis, the bank said on its website.

"The Development Policy Loan to the Republic of Belarus will support the Government's economic program aimed at addressing the social impact of the financial crisis and advancing reforms to help enable a sustained economic recovery," the World Bank said in a news release.

The 16-year loan supports the government's liberalization program to promote private investment and job creation, including measures to lift a major burden from businesses and liberalize prices, gradually eliminate turnover taxes and draft key legislation for launching the privatization process, the bank said.

The ex-Soviet state has received a total of $2.23 billion from the International Monetary Fund in 2009, including the latest tranche of $699.5 million in late October, for economic reforms.

In January 2009, the IMF approved a 15-month standby loan worth about $2.5 billion and the Fund's experts later recommended the loan be increased to $3.63 billion.

Belarus has also received $1.5 billion from Russia. Russia's Finance Ministry has so far refused to disburse the last $500 million tranche, saying it needs to assess the prospects of loan repayment.

WASHINGTON, December 2 (RIA Novosti)


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