Amended Banking Code has made National Bank more independent, official says


The enactment of amendments to the Banking Code have made the National Bank of Belarus (NBB) somewhat more independent, NBB deputy head Mikalay Luzhin told reporters in Minsk on Tuesday.

"However, as a classical author put it, freedom is the recognition of necessity," he said. "In this regard, the National Bank is as free as everyone else."

Mr. Luzhin stressed that not a single central bank was totally independent. The central bank is dependent either on the legislative branch or the president to a greater or lesser extent, he said.

In National Bank of Belarus is administratively dependent on the president as he exercises his constitutional powers, Mr. Luzhin said. The NBB is also economically dependent because it coordinates its work with the Council of Ministers and adopts joint documents with it, he said.

The most important thing is not maximum independence but sufficient independence at the current stage, Mr. Luzhin concluded.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka told reporters on January 15 that he opposed to increasing independence for the National Bank of Belarus.

"When everything becomes independent and there is no one to bear responsibility, quarrels start," the Belarusian leader said, mentioning the case of Ukraine. "I don't want such things to happen here," he said, noting that similar things had happened in Belarus before. "This is what happened in the parliament, if you remember. Strikes, fights and shouting. And what did we get? Empty shelves at stores. So let’s speak about autonomy in a more careful manner," he said. //BelaPAN