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Republic of Belarus: Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes—Data Module Response by the Authorities

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
February 2005
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This document provides the response by the Belarusian authorities to the data module of the Report on Standards and Codes (ROSC) following the mission that took place during March 23–April 7, 2004. It was prepared by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB), the Ministry of Statistics and Analysis (Minstat), and the Ministry of Finance (MoF). Several of the mission’s recommendations have been already implemented, including substantial work for the Republic of Belarus’s subscription to the Special Data Dissemination Standards.5

A. National Bank of the Republic of Belarus

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) agrees on the whole with the evaluation of monetary statistics and balance of payments statistics stated in the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) and currently remedied the indicated deficiencies. At the same time, the majority of recommendations stipulated in the ROSC have been already fulfilled.

In particular, the following steps were taken regarding monetary statistics:

  • Since January 1, 2004, monetary gold is valued at market prices. At present, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus adjusts this indicator for the previous periods.

  • At present, the issue of accounting financial derivatives on the NBRB’s and banks’ balance sheet accounts by compilation of monetary surveys is being examined.

  • In July 2004, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus carried out detailed comparison of monetary data with regard to changes in net claims to the Government with tax and budget data on banking financing. The IMF was informed on the results of this comparison.

The following steps were taken concerning balance of payments statistics:

  • Starting from the publication of the BOP for January-March 2004, the section “Financial Derivatives” was introduced in its presentation. The BOP presentation for the previous periods was revised.

  • The methodology of estimating flow changes of the banking sector’s securities (assets, portfolio investments) based on the stocks and monthly average exchange rates was developed. These flow changes are calculated independently and the valuation and other changes are derived as a residual value. Mentioned methodology was used to estimate BOP data for January-March 2004. Based on this methodology the data for previous periods were revised.

  • Within current procedures of amending banks’ reports, the NBRB plans to introduce separate codes for income on bonds, notes and money market instruments into the ITRS with a view to get information with necessary breakdown starting from the data for 2005.

  • BOP Department commenced developing approaches on applying the accrual basis when estimating income on banking sector’s securities.

  • Corresponding changes were made to the Government’s statistical reporting form 2-Invest “Information on investments into the Republic of Belarus from abroad and investments from the Republic of Belarus to abroad” which will allow to collect data on unguaranteed debts of other sectors based on the accrual basis beginning from the 2005 data.

  • The methods of differentiating preliminary, revised and final BOP data in the disseminated tables were developed. These methods were introduced beginning from the publication of the BOP for January-June 2004.

  • To secure timeliness of the BOP data for compiling national accounts, the schedule of the BOP compilation was changed. At present, the BOP data are submitted to the Ministry of Statistics on the no later then 80th day after the end of the reporting period.

B. Ministry of Statistics and Analysis

Information on Progress in Addressing Concerns Raised by the International Monetary Fund Mission

CompletedStill to be done
System of National Accounts
  • Quarterly national accounts are posted on the 90th day after the reference period, starting with data for the first quarter of 2004 (Minstat website).

  • As of May 2004 the Quarterly Estimates of Gross Domestic Product publication contains more detailed information on methods for estimating GDP and on their sources. Data on net exports at constant prices and statistical discrepancy are published separately. A brief analysis of the data is provided.

  • Information on national accounts is released simultaneously to all users:

    • - monthly GDP data are released on the 15th – 17th of the month following the reference month (Socio-Economic Completed Still to be done Situation of the Republic of Belarus report, Minstat website);

    • - quarterly data are released on the 90th day after the reference period (Minstat website).

  • Detailed metadata on the system of national accounts have been posted on the Minstat website since January 2003.

  • Notification of a broad range of users of changes in the methodology for estimating GDP and revision of GDP data compared to previously published data, as they occur (December 30, 2004, Minstat website).

  • Partial replacement of tabular material with diagrams and charts, starting with the National Accounts of the Republic of Belarus publication. To be completed in March 2005.

Price Statistics
  • Time series of consumer and producer price indices were posted on the Minstat website while the IMF mission was in the country. Data are updated monthly on the 12th of the month following the reference period.

  • The question of including used durable goods (for example, automobiles) in the consumer price index is currently being studied.

  • Computer programs have been developed to support control audits for verification of data and identification of errors.

Statistical Planning and Organization of Statistical Observations
Industrial Statistics
  • Monthly indices of the physical volume of industrial output with a fixed base (2000 = 100%) are posted on the Minstat website, with an explanation of the difference between indices based on a previous period and those on a fixed base period.

C. Ministry of Finance

The Republic of Belarus’ Ministry of Finance reviewed the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) – Data Module concerning government finance statistics (GFS). In our opinion, this report contains a fairly in-depth analysis of GFS compilation practices and a number of useful recommendations, which we are taking into consideration in our improvement of GFS methodology. Changes that have been made since the departure of the mission, as well as plans by the Ministry of Finance to carry out the recommendations contained in the report are reflected in the following table.

Information on Changes Made after the Departure of the International Monetary Fund Mission and Further Plans to Carry Out the Recommendations in the Report on Observance of Standards and Codes

ImplementedStill to be done
1. Starting with the 2005 Annual Budget Law, innovation funds previously treated as extrabudgetary resources are included in the consolidated budget to expand the coverage of the budget and record the resources of these funds as a part of the budget using the budget classification.1. The data on execution of the consolidated budget will be posted on the website of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Belarus in May 2005.

There are plans for further expansion of the budget coverage by including extrabudgetary operations and recording them in accordance with the budget classification starting in 2006.
2. Consistent with the GFS Manual 2001 requirements draft functional and economic classifications were prepared, as well as the classification of budget revenue. It is expected that the IMF will perform an expert assessment of the draft classification of budget revenues of the Republic of Belarus.2. There are plans to make the migration (with IMF technical assistance) to the budget classification complying with the requirements of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001.
3. The number of staff involved in the compilation of government finance statistics (GFS) has been doubled. Additional computer equipment has been installed, and GFS data are backed up regularly.3. The number of staff involved in the compilation of GFS and classification issues will be increased starting in January 2005.
4. The detailed reconciliation of fiscal and monetary data pertaining to financing of the budget deficit for 2003 was done in July 2004. The data on reconciliation were presented to the IMF.4. The Ministry of Finance together with the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus will perform annual reconciliation of fiscal and monetary statistics.
5. The decision was made to bring the methodology for compilation of fiscal statistics into line with the GFS Manual 2001.5. A plan of migration to the GFS Manual 2001 will be formulated by July 2005.
6. Metadata concerning SDDS indicators will be posted in Russian and English on the website of the Ministry of Finance in January 2005.

There are plans to post the regulatory-legal basis for the budget process and budget classification and the relevant metadata on the Ministry of Finance’s website within the same timeframe.
7. Government finance statistics will be posted on the Ministry of Finance’s website starting in July 2005.

Software for the compilation of quarterly reports on government finance statistics of the Republic of Belarus for inclusion in the IMF’s GFS Yearbook will be upgraded in 2005.

There are plans to publish GFS data on the Ministry of Finance’s website in accordance with the GFS Manual 2001 approach starting in January 2006.

The Republic of Belarus subscribed to the Special Data Dissemination Standards on December 22, 2004.

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