Meeting to discuss the country’s economic performance and development
The key task for the authorities is to prevent the current difficulties caused by various circumstances from affecting people, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he hosted a meeting on 23 July to discuss the country’s economic performance and development.
According to the head of state, the most important issues on which people's everyday life should be addressed in the first place. “The election campaign will be over, the political processes will slow down, and the economy will move to the center of public attention. That is why I have invited for a meeting today the central and local authorities responsible for the country’s economic development to review the performance of the real economic, services, finance, and social sectors which should be under our closest control. Not a single issue cannot be neglected. At the start of the year, during the ‘oil pandemic’ test, we managed to do it. Then there was a virus, ‘informational’ one. Now the political pandemic has begun,” the Belarusian leader said.
“This is hardly a surprise for anyone. We never counted on easy times. We cannot count on them today either. The key task for all of us is different. At all costs, we must not allow these difficulties affect our people,” the President said.
“Today we will focus on the three most important issues that are of major concern for the society: salaries, employment and prices. I have carefully studied all the statistics and latest data, opinions and sentiments of people," the President said. “I have not seen any major results and successes in this work yet.”
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the average salary level promised by the authorities has been reached across the country. The average salary made up Br1,000 or more in all the oblasts and Minsk in May. “However, according to my data, the income of a significant part of the population is still below this level, and not all people give us a positive assessment of our work,” the President said.
The head of state cited an example of certain categories of workers (for example, kindergarten teachers) who, despite considerable workload, still do not receive Br1,000. The President instructed to support such workers by finding additional financial sources. “Find sources, even unconventional ones, to support these people. I would like you to report on the measures being taken to create conditions for decent salaries,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state stressed the need to address the long-standing issue of salaries surpassing labor productivity.
As for employment issues, the head of state emphasized the absence of serious problems. “We managed to avoid a catastrophe which we may witness even in the neighboring countries. Even the world’s strongest states did not have enough strength to keep peace in their societies,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. "However, employment in the economy should be ensured thanks to sustainable and efficient operation of enterprises, not artificially.”
At the same time, the President warned against mass layoffs. “We cannot throw people onto the street. They need to work. They need to be provided with jobs. If an enterprise lacks traditional types of work, there is a sea of work in Minsk and other cities, in the countryside, where people can earn money,” the head of state has set a task.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that Belarus expects a good harvest this year. Agricultural exports can earn considerable revenue for the country. In this respect the President instructed to make sure the harvesting campaign is of high-quality and timely.
The head of state expressed concern over the situation in the industrial sector. According to the President, the industrial sector must use the advantages of uninterrupted production in Belarus. “The global economy has shrunk. The demand for raw materials has decreased. If the demand for raw materials, metals and so on has decreased, prices have dropped as well. It means that our industrial sector can buy raw materials cheaper. The prices for finished goods have not gone down. Why not? Because the economy stands still. There is a deficit of many industrial goods. Then sell them as others do,” the Belarusian leader said.
The President demanded that the government and local authorities keep pricing under special control. “The situation is not critical, of course, but there are some questions,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
Regional authorities should report to the President on the progress n the implementation of the decisions to support employment and stimulate economic activity. “We have given emergency powers to governors, city and district authorities. Act! Please report how you used them, because additional powers mean an additional responsibility," the head of state said.
“We are facing absolutely practical tasks. A person should go to work, earn a decent salary, and enterprises should develop effectively,” the Belarusian leader said.