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State subsidies to help low-income Belarusians pay utility bills as from 1 October

MINSK (BelTA) – Cashless subsidies will be introduced in Belarus on 1 October to help pay the rent and utility bills, BelTA learned from Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov on 23 August.

According to the Prime Minister, the head of state has agreed to the government's proposal. The draft presidential decree was presented before Alexander Lukashenko.

This kind of support will be granted to families, whose utility bills exceed a certain percentage of their income, in particular, 20% for urban Belarusians and 15% for rural Belarusians.

Pensioners and people with disabilities will get the subsidies by default as from 1 October. Other citizens will have to apply to the relevant authorities in order to get the subsidies.

The government believes that the subsidies will need a total of about Br50 million (after redenomination). “The state budget has that kind of money. The money has been earned by reducing the prime cost of utility services this year and a certain increase in a number of utility rates at the beginning of the year. These combined factors will allow the government to provide such cashless subsidies to the categories of citizens that truly need them prior to the cold season,” noted Andrei Kobyakov.

According to preliminary estimates, about 10% or some 400,000 families in Belarus will be able to claim the cashless housing subsidies.