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Belarus prime minister wants average salary to buy 1m2 of housing by 2020

GOMEL, 24 February (BelTA) – Belarus' general economic policy is aimed at making the cost of building 1m2 of housing to be equal to the average salary for all population categories by 2020. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov made the statement while on a working trip to Gomel Oblast on 24 February, BelTA has learned. In Gomel Oblast Andrei Kobyakov was made familiar with the operation of the Gomel integrated home-building factory. He was told what measures are being taken to reduce costs and increase the effectiveness of civil engineering projects in the region. The company has been substantially retooled. Efforts to reduce costs have enabled the Gomel integrated home-building factory to decrease the prime cost of housing built using state support to the equivalent of $260. The prime cost of housing built on commercial footing has been reduced to $303 per 1m2. It is the lowest cost of housing per square meter in Belarus. “This experience should be a guideline for other Belarusian construction companies,” stressed Andrei Kobyakov. In his words, for the sake of preserving housing construction pace, including using state support, the government continues working to take care of a number of matters. In particular, the government would like commercial bank loans to be used for housing construction. The government would like to gradually reduce the interest rate on bank loans, which are available on general terms. The interest rate is supposed to be reduced to 9-10% per annum in 2020. “The planned reduction of the interest rate on loans combined with the reduction of housing construction cost per 1m2 will enable lending conditions commensurate with the financial burden of preferential-rate loans. Thus, by the end of the five-year term every average-sized family will be granted an opportunity to build a standard home for the money they earn,” remarked the Prime Minister. During the working trip Andrei Kobyakov was also made familiar with the reconstruction of the Gomel Oblast clinical hospital for children. The work is being done upon instructions of the Belarus president. Andrei Kobyakov also visited one of the developing real estate areas in Gomel. The Prime Minister took part in a government conference, which participants talked over housing construction prospects in the current five-year term, measures taken to reduce the time and the cost of construction projects.