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Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 3:30:01 PM
Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 3:30:53 PM
MINSK (Reuters) - Belarus will hold fire on plans to introduce a $100 exit tax for citizens who travel to neighbouring countries to shop, President Alexander Lukashenko was quoted as saying on Saturday.
Lukashenko threatened earlier this month to impose the tax on thousands of Belarussians who cross the border daily to trade or simply buy goods in Poland, Lithuania or Ukraine, accusing them of lacking patriotism at a time when factories at home were packed with produce they could not sell.
"Well, we won't take $100 from you, but if you bring in belongings, then you'll pay a duty, like in other countries," Lukashenko said, according to Belarusian state news agency Belta.
Tens of thousands of Belarussians often travel at the weekend into Lithuania, Poland or Ukraine to buy better-quality, cheaper clothes, food and household appliances, spending an estimated $3 billion abroad annually.
(Reporting by Andrei Makhovksky; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Patrick Graham)
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