Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko hosted a meeting on 28 January to discuss ways to improve the situation in the agricultural industry of Vitebsk Oblast.
The issues facing the region’s agricultural sector were previously discussed by the head of state in November. Back then instructions were given to rectify the situation. It is important that these issues should be addressed as they are common for all the regions of the country.
“How were the conceptual proposals and decisions announced in Vitebsk fulfilled? The first question is what measures are suggested? What are the proposed financial rehabilitation models and, most importantly, how will they help the situation?” the President asked addressing the meeting. “The materials that were submitted rely on state support. If this is the only thing you want, then we are wasting our time,” the President added.
“The approaches remain the same. The question is not only and not so much about money, but rather the conclusions made. Are there any well-calibrated manufacturing and financial plans? How are you going to put to rights economic activities? Do regional authorities have any idea what they are going to do next?” the President asked.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that all the people working in the agricultural sector in Vitebsk Oblast, from blue-color workers to executives, should cheer up and work to the limit of their ability. “Tell them that if the government meets them halfway, they will have to work round the clock in order to repay the debts they have accumulated and to turn their enterprises into profitable companies,” the head of state said.
While urging people to work harder, it is absolutely necessary to pay them decent salaries. “People in Vitebsk Oblast, just like in other regions, should keep in mind that they should work their fingers to the bone. However, we should not forget that if you want people to grind away, you need to pay them decent salaries in time. How is this issue addressed in your plans? How are you going to keep people working in the countryside and to bring new highly-qualified specialists?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.
The President noted that he expects a comprehensive approach to the matter from the participants of the meeting. “How efficient are the proposed measures? Will they be able to improve the situation and help the regional agricultural sector achieve sustainable growth? Most importantly, have the government and the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee managed to work out universally applicable solutions that can be used in other regions of the country? If we embark on managerial reforms, where will we take specialists for that? Do you have them?” the President asked.