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IMF Criticizes Belarus Plan For Pre-Election Giveaways


President Alyaksandr Lukashenka at a May military parade in Minsk

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka at a May military parade in Minsk

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has criticized plans to raise public sector pay in Belarus by one-third in advance of the country's forthcoming presidential election.

IMF representative Natalya Kolyadina said the increases lacked economic basis and broke agreements the fund had made with Belarus because, as she said, "such a significant hike, undoubtedly, does not meet our agreements."

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who is seeking a fourth term, announced on September 26 that besides the public sector wage rises, the minimum wage would jump by 5 percent to around $500 on November 1.

The increases are expected to cost $2.3 billion and double Belarus's expected budget defict.

compiled from Reuters reports
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