Belarus Finance Ministry submits 2010 draft budget to parliament

The Finance Ministry of Belarus submitted on Monday a draft budget for 2010, with revenues expected to reach about $20 billion and a budget deficit of about 1.5% of GDP.

Belarusian Finance Minister Andrei Kharkovets said the country's gross domestic product was expected to grow 12% in 2010 as compared with this year.

Kharkovets said taxes and excise duties would account for 82% of the country's budget revenues next year.

"The budget will receive revenues from VAT, tax from foreign economic activity, excise duties, income tax and profit tax," Kharkovets said.

The finance minister said the government intended to increase VAT from the current 18% to 20% next year, which would yield an additional $700 million for the budget.

At the same time, Kharkovets said that the 2010 budget stipulated a 14% increase in social spending as compared with this year and a 15% growth in real wages in the budget-financed sector.

The finance minister characterized the budget for next year as cautious.

"The draft budget stipulates cautious approaches to the state's financial obligations," he said.

MINSK, December 7 (RIA Novosti)


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