Belarus: government aid for glassworks

The Belarus government has devised a series of measures aimed at helping an ailing glassworks in the Grodno region.
Under the plan, tax arrears owed by the Beryozovka-based Neman Glass Factory to the…

The Belarus government has devised a series of measures aimed at helping an ailing glassworks in the Grodno region. Under the plan, tax arrears owed by the Beryozovka-based Neman Glass Factory to the central and regional authorities will be written off and the government“s stake in the enterprise will rise by an amount equivalent to the debts, or nearly BYR 930 million. In the debt restructuring scheme, the central government will receive 109,643 more shares in the factory and the Grodno Regional Executive Committee will acquire 18,921 shares. In addition, nearly 1,900 shares will be transferred from private stockholders to the state. In 2006 and 2007, the glassworks will receive a budgetary loan of USD 6.7 million at an interest rate of 3% for upgrade projects. The loan will have to be repaid between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2012. The government has also recommended that the state-run Belpromstroibank lend the company BYR 4.8 billion (USD 2.2 million) in 2006. In addition, the cabinet has urged energy utilities to halve their rates for natural gas and electricity for the glassworks, while the authorities are expected to cut the land tax rate payable by the company by 50%. The Grodno Regional Executive Committee is to provide a total of BYR 3 billion in subsidies to replenish the company“s working assets. The company makes a range of 3,000 products which are exported to Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, France, the United States, and the Baltic states, amongst others.