Aleksandr Lukashenko visits Borisovdrev during working trip to Minsk Oblast

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to complete modernization and implement the investment project at Borisovdrev by 7 November 2013. The head of state gave the instruction during his working trip to Minsk Oblast.

    At present the plant is implementing an investment project to rebuild and develop the facilities to make tiled wood-based materials as well as forest harvesting operations while introducing a set of energy-saving measures. The new production facility was scheduled for commissioning in December 2009. However, the work has not been completed yet. “Let us agree about the schedule. I want the company in tip-top shape by 7 November 2013,” the President said.

    The investment project is estimated to cost €80.6 million. The head of state was informed that once it is implemented, the output should be raised by more than five times in cost terms within two years. The export of goods should be raised several times from $3 million to $32 million.

    The match factory founded in 1901 is one of the oldest enterprises of the woodworking industry. Borisovdrev OAO comprises logging, woodworking and furniture production facilities. Major products of the company are wallboards, plywood, matches, molding, furniture. Top trade partners are Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko examined the company premises and the production floor. He drew attention to ecological considerations: a lot of waste and byproducts have been stockpiled on the bank of the water bond that borders on the manufacturing premises. “Remind me to have a word with the ecologists. They must be traveling abroad more than they do in Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko told Chairman of the State Control Committee Alexander Yakobson. Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to put things right in this matter, too: “It has to be done this winter. Leave no square meter of unused land here . ”

    According to the President, the Belarus government and the management of enterprises have failed the program aimed at modernizing the woodworking industry. “These gigantic projects for the woodworking industry are tied to the diversification of our economy. I made this decision to make us less dependent on the ‘big brother’, on the West, the Americans. Instead we should use our own resources: construction materials, cement, agriculture, potash fertilizers, including the woodworking industry. The entire project for modernizing the woodworking industry has been failed”, the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko asked Sergei Ivanov, Chairman of the Belarusian state timber and paper industry concern Bellesbumprom, about reasons behind the failure. In turn, Sergei Ivanov remarked that the enterprises had not been ready for this work. In his opinion, the deadlines have been delayed because Belarusian design organizations are weak.

    “Why did you have to bring me the decree on deadlines and other things if you were not ready?” the President asked the reasonable question. “You should have completed it in 2009. It is the year 2012 now and you need two more years. Minus five years in total. If you were not skilled and were not ready, you should have employed 5-10 foreigners. It would have cost us less,” Aleksandr Lukashenko reproached.

    “Should we leave the minister [Architecture and Construction Minister Anatoly Nichkasov] here? He may complete the construction of the factory. He should be responsible if he is the one to have failed the construction project,” the head of state siad. “We will have to look at Vitebsk, too. Maybe he will have to go there and get things going. If he cannot do it in the ministry, he should get things organized on site”.

    Speaking about the delays of modernization deadlines, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that not only members of the government and the administration of the enterprise were to blame. The lack of discipline among blue-collar workers is often to blame. This is why the President urged to strictly follow workplace discipline rules at enterprises. “Young people, skilled and willing to work, should come and work here. It will not do if the President has to come here and force people to work,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko told his aide Piotr Prokopovich to constantly keep an eye on the implementation of projects in this sphere. Every enterprise, not only woodworking ones, should have a modernization plan of its own. “It cannot be questioned. It is up to them [the government] and Nadezhda Yermakova to decide where they will get money. Do not argue with them about interest rates and so on, it is their business. Your business is to keep them on schedule and keep the modernization going,” the head of state instructed Piotr Prokopovich.

    “Let us do it like people we are. We are on a tight schedule; we do not have spare time. We have to get things modernized to make normal products,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko has ordered to ban resignation of employees until woodworking companies of Bellesbumprom Concern complete upgrade projects. The ban should be formalized by an ordinance.

    “Draft the ordinance. Employee resignation is banned until the upgrade and renovation projects are completed. Employees will not be able to quit their jobs without permission of a company chief,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “Therefore, no resignations starting from tomorrow, 1 December,” Aleksandr Lukashenko demanded.

    The President noted that the decree should contain a clause about employees’ complaints that will be considered by the governors. “There can be different situations. The final decision will be made by the governor. But, principally, no worker, specialist or top manager should be able to quit before the upgrade is completed,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “All the projects we have conceived cost huge money. They have made no progress for two or three years. Equipment lies around under the roof,” the head of state said.

    “If an employee has quitted, he should be sent to do compulsory work for the company he left. The task of the Director is to assign a certain amount of work for them every day,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The President also instructed to arrange weekly meetings of the staffs headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko and the governor of the region where a woodworking company is based: “These meetings will look into all issues. Indeed, this is a forced move. Otherwise nothing will be done. Money will be wasted and everything will be thrown away to the wind. Piotr Prokopovich will be put in charge of the whole woodworking industry.”

    The President noted that the resignation ban applies not only to employees but also to contractors who work on the site.

    “All personnel issues must be solved. I am going to Mogilev and Vitebsk. I am afraid the state of affairs is not good there and half the members of the Government may lose their jobs over this,” the President said. In that connection, he pointed out the need to establish order in everything, including in labor discipline. "I have already said it: the ordinance should be your bed-side book,” he noted.

    “You should keep in mind that they will be accusing us of dictatorship even harder for making people do things, for banning resignation. I will say this now so that people should know: in Q1 you will have to raise salaries for everyone you employ here up to $ 400-500. Then people will say: the President made the decision, made them work here yet the salaries are good. The salaries will be nearly twice as much as what they are now.”

    “Indeed, the discipline requirements are tough, and this will apply to all enterprises. We start from Borisovdrev. I am tired of persuading everyone,” the President said.

    During the working trip the President was also informed about the social and economic development of Minsk Oblast. Governor Boris Batura told the head of state about the implementation of programs in agriculture, housing construction, GDP and export growth.