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Friday, July 20, 2018

World Bank: Belarus' heating tax system undermines competitiveness

The World Bank said in a new study that the current heating tariff system in Belarus is inefficient, unsustainable undermines industry competitiveness and risks economic stability.

The study--"Belarus: Heat Tariff Reform and Social Impact Mitigation"--analyzes the social, sectoral and fiscal impact of the heat tariff reform being considered by the government and offers its own proposals for developing a heating sector while minimizing the adverse effect of heat tariff increases on the country's citizens, according to a bank press release.

"An effective social assistance package provided along with the elimination of subsidies would enable the Government to protect the poor, without jeopardizing the reform," Young Chul Kim, the World Bank country manager for Belarus, said. "Investment in energy efficiency could also significantly reduce consumer energy bills. The analysis shows that energy efficiency measures could reduce household heat consumption by up to 35 percent compared to the present."

The report recommends improving communications with customers, enhancing mechanisms for protecting society and boosting investments in energy efficiency at production and consumption levels.

Since joining the World Bank in 1992, Belarus has received more than 1.14 billion in financial assistance.