Aleksandr Lukashenko makes working trip to Gomel Oblast

    Wages will not be increased if workforce productivity remains the same, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he visited the agricultural enterprise Zarya on 12 April.

    Governor of Gomel Oblast Vladimir Dvornik informed the President about the social and economic development of the region. In his words, returns on sales in Gomel Oblast is 10.6%, which is one of the highest in the country. "But we see the potential and work with small enterprises. I think we will make headway in the near future," Vladimir Dvornik said.

    At the same time, the President has reminded that wages will not be increased if workforce productivity remains the same. “Recently I have seen, including in the mass media, that more and more labor collectives and people demand higher wages. We have agreed firmly that if workforce productivity and sales grow, you can go ahead and raise wages. No increase – no pay rise. Otherwise, we will repeat the recent financial and economic crisis,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. In his words, there should be no deviations from this principle.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that cases of non-payment of wages should be examined closely. “We should look into situations when employers cannot pay out wages. You should deal with them, so that I will not have to take it on. I would like to warn you that no one will be able to find a soft job here. Executives who have been fired cannot take top managerial positions. The best we can offer is a job by their profession. If not, then take a broom and go sweep the streets,” the head of state said.

    “If we do not do it, we will go round and round and nag that we have no money, no productivity and salaries,” the President emphasized.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said that meliorated lands should be used effectively, they should be used for agricultural purposes. “It is a crime to use these lands in a wrong way. We will work more on it, reducing overall agricultural subsidies,” said the Belarusian leader. "We will step up this work and reduce the overall subsidies to agriculture. As you are aware Belarus has undertaken some obligations in the SES: Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus agreed to have the same level of state support of agricultural producers. Yes, we will be cutting down on subsidies. We will redistribute them to allocate more money into increasing the land turnover. More resources should be put in the construction of farms, complexes, their upgrade,” the head of state said.

    “Pull money away from other areas but animal premises have to be built. We will do without subsidies for buying machines for a couple of years. We have enough machines now, they have to be used properly,” the President said.

    “Today we need to make a focus on this work, to win markets. Only by doing this we will be able to achieve something,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    As an example the President cited the Netherlands, a relatively small country which exports considerable amounts of agricultural produce. Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed hope that if all the farms in the country reach the level of Zarya state farm, Belarus will be able to take one of the leading places in the agricultural exports.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko was informed about the progress in fulfilling the national program for reconstruction, retooling and building pig farming enterprises by 2015. In 2011 targets were missed mainly due to financial difficulties. Nevertheless, Aleksandr Lukashenko demanded the program should be carried out in full. “Let us plan that in 2012-2013 we will do 100% and will catch up after the crisis year. There can be no other program however hard it may be,” the head of state said.

    In 2011 the production of pork in the country made up 99% of the target set by the program. It totaled 442,000 tonnes. By 2015 the pork output is expected to increase to 630,000 tonnes.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said that marble meat should be produced and processed in Belarus. “We have to have marble meat. We will start processing it, will find markets to sell it together and we will sell it,” the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said that Belarusian specialists are already studying relevant foreign practices. “We are now buying a line. It is not expensive for the state. We will pack everything according to European standards and will sell. The demand for these products is huge in Russia. Therefore, we will do it. We have a lot of unused lands,” the head of state stressed.

    The President instructed Vice Premier Mikhail Rusyi to examine the matter and organize marble meat processing by the end of the year.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to training qualified personnel for agribusiness. In his words, top agricultural performers such as the enterprise Zarya should become the centers to train agribusiness executives because university programs are sometimes well behind the times. “We need solid executives, around whom people will rally,” the President said.

    The President stressed that the creation of agrotowns in Belarus should be completed in this five-year period. “We should not stop. Each agrotown should develop on its own, starting from road and housing construction. Companies should rely on their own selves,” the President emphasized.

    “We should address these issues during the ongoing five-year period so that we would not have to talk about the construction, reformation or upgrading of agrotowns in the future. This process should be finished within this five-year plan,” the President emphasized.

    As an example, Aleksandr Lukashenko cited the agrotown Rudnya in Mozyr District. The village of Rudnya was transformed into an agrotown in 2008, and witnessed noticeable improvements ever since. A lot of landscaping work has been done. The town has had a stadium reconstructed, a tennis court built, a kindergarten, a school, a drugstore, a community center, and a post office retrofitted. Twenty-seven houses were built in Rudnya in 2007-2011.

    “All agrotowns should be like Rudnya. Here there is everything one needs for life,” the head of state said.

    On 13 April the President will visit Brest Oblast.