On 14 March, Belarus signed Decree No. 93 On Additional Measures to Ensure the Stable Functioning of the Economy. This legislative act is aimed at enhancing the domestic sustainability of the economy, including ensuring macroeconomic and fiscal stability, in the context of economic restrictions imposed by foreign countries.
In this regard, the Presidium of the Council of Ministers has been given a number of powers to promptly make decisions regarding some of them (regarding the establishment of deadlines for payment of dividends for 2021, determination of specifics of VAT and excise duties on sales of Belarusian oil and oil products, changing deadlines for payment of taxes, duties (dues), other payments to the budget, the amount of fees for government guarantees on loans issued by Belarusian banks, the amount of base rental value, postponing the execution of the loan agreements in 2022). These measures will primarily affect the sectors most severely affected by the economic restrictions.
If restrictive measures are imposed by foreign states, which imply the actual "freezing" of investment projects implemented in Belarus, the suspension of their financing, the deprivation of the technical possibility to make public debt settlements in foreign currency, the Ministry of Finance, agent banks and other legal entities shall be entitled by decision of the Council of Ministers to fulfil their obligations to such countries in the national currency.
In addition, the Council of Ministers is given the right to impose a fee for early termination of contracts (loan, lease, etc.), initiated by foreign organisations or citizens from the states that have taken a decision to introduce special measures against Belarusian legal entities and individuals.
Also, as a retaliatory measure against the actions of such states, the Council of Ministers shall be entitled to suspend the execution of international double taxation agreements signed by the Republic of Belarus with those states.
To prevent the transfer of capital out of the country, shareholders are prohibited from alienating shares in the share capital of legal entities, and the Council of Ministers has been given the right to set a higher tax rate on foreign company income from dividends, royalties, interest income, etc.
The list of affected countries includes Australia, European Union member states, Canada, Liechtenstein, Norway, New Zealand, Albania, Iceland, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Switzerland, UK and Northern Ireland, USA.