Aleksandr Lukashenko visits Kamvol Company
During the visit to the textile factory OAO Kamvol President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko issued a strict warning to the government.
“It is the final warning for you and [Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail] Myasnikovich,” the head of state told First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko. “I don’t need your excuses! I didn’t come here for excuses. I know well what is going on at Kamvol. I don’t want to hear how good you are. When people are paid no salaries, when people work in cold premises, you would not send your relatives, your wife to work here,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that he specifically had delayed his visit to the enterprise. “I postponed it because I hoped that something would have been done here. What I saw surprised me in the extreme: nothing has been done whatsoever, things were left the way they are,” said the head of state.
The President was informed that the company was in a deep crisis. The enterprise uses outdated technologies and worn-out equipment and therefore cannot make competitive products. In January-October 2012 net losses totaled Br9.5 billion, with profitability at minus 3.7%. As of 1 November 2012 accounts payable stood at Br31.4 billion, including Br21.7 billion in overdue accounts payable. The accounts payable have increased by 70% since the beginning of the year. The average salary paid to OAO Kamvol employees is about Br2 million, which is below the industry’s average.
“You take any money without thinking about how you will return it. Why do you do it?” the head of state asked Svetlana Strizhak, OAO Kamvol Director General. The head of the enterprise said that they had to take these measures in order to keep up the output and fulfill the available orders. “I am aware of how you work with customers in some degree,” said the head of state. “They try to avoid working with you by all means. For instance, the Kazakhstan-based factory Bolshevichka ordered some fabrics from you as part of the government order for the military and the emergency workers. You promised you would deliver, you failed and faced claims. The problem has reached the presidential level. This is the way you work,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Leonid Anfimov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Control Committee, said that the enterprise is nearly lost. While it used to turn out about 22 million running meters of fabric in Soviet times, today it makes only 2 million. The company used to employ 7,000 people, now it employs less than one thousand. “In essence there is nothing left here,” he said.
In turn, First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko remarked that the situation is typical for such enterprises.
“[Vice Premier of Belarus Mikhail] Rusyi is responsible for the enterprise and the tail that has to be restored now. Semashko is responsible for the Orsha flax mill and its modernization, while Myasnikovich is responsible for Baranovichi Cotton Production Amalgamation,” said the head of state. “Therefore, we may take a look, maybe early next year, at what Myasnikovich has done for the enterprise he is responsible for and we may take a look at the flax mill in spring,” remarked the President. “I don’t know how I can entrust the government with this work from now on,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko.