Belarus President makes new appointments

    Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made several personnel decisions on 11 August. The head of state appointed:

    - Deputy Chairman of the National Statistics Committee
    - Deputy Chairman of the State Defense Industries Committee

    The President approved the appointment of:

    - Deputy Chairman of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee
    - Deputy Chairman of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee
    - Chief of Administration of the Zheloznodorozhny District of Gomel
    - Chairman of Grodno City Hall
    - Chairman of the Stolbtsy District Executive Committee
    - First Deputy Chairman of the Mogilev Oblast Executive Committee- Chairman of the Agriculture and Food Committee
     - Deputy Chairman of the Mogilev Oblast Executive Committee
    - Chairman of Bobruisk Town Hall
    - Director General of Minsk Tractor Works
    - Director of the Nuclear Energy Department of the Energy Ministry
    - Director General of Yakub Kolas Printing Company
    - Head of the Social Policy and Information Support Department of the Union State Permanent Committee
    - Deputy Head of the Managerial and Analytical Department of the Union State Permanent Committee
    - Property Management Director of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee
    - member of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee
    - member of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee

    Aleksandr Lukashenko touched upon the personnel issue. He reminded about his instruction to reduce the number of civil servants in Belarus and to employ younger workers in the public administration sector.

    The President believes that the number of civil servants can be further reduced twofold and the discipline can be dramatically improved.

    “In the near future we will cut down on the number of civil servants again. It is not because they are bad, but because we need to toughen discipline. We often have situations when a senior official makes a decision and a dozen of his subordinates are off to supervise the implementation of this decision and to write progress reports on how the decision is fulfilled. It is a flawed practice. We need to improve discipline dramatically, so that no one will go anywhere, because they will be able to supervise the fulfillment of a decision just by making a phone call. If someone fails to fulfill a decision, he should be dismissed. This way we will be able to halve the number of civil servants, to toughen performance discipline and to relieve the government staff from unrelated or even detrimental functions,” the head of state said.

    The President remarked that the Minsk Oblast Executive Committee is now trying to implement this idea.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said that at present civil servants receive a meager salary. “However, I will not be able to increase the salary of civil servants if we do not reduce the government staff,” the President said.

    “We need to dramatically enhance the status, the prestige of civil servants, so that this would be a position worth the name, so that these officials would be able to make decisions that are implemented unquestionably. The money that we will save and some extra funds will be used to increase the salaries of civil servants. This way we will resolve the issue,” the head of state emphasized.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to the fact that the officials that will be made redundant should be employed in the economic sector, including in executive positions.

    “The biggest challenges come from the economy. In fact, the economy is the only source of possible challenges and threats. If domestic companies operate steadily, if we have the same harvest as this year, and if we keep working passionately, we will handle anything. No one will come here on tanks, no one will occupy, kill, suppress and subdue us. We will weather through any turmoil. Everything depends on us. However, there is one thing I often tell you about: wrongdoing on the part of civil servants will not be tolerated; civil servants should be role models,” the President said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that an anti-corruption draft bill will be published soon. The head of state expects suggestions and proposals on this draft law. There are plans to resume focus on the decree on toughening punishment for senior officials. This will finally prevent corrupt officials from being employed into a managerial position again. “If you work conscientiously, you will be rewarded. If you do not work properly, you will never be able to hold a managerial post again,” the head of state said.

    “When we settle personnel issues and optimize the government staff, people will never tell us that we earn too much,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    Addressing heads of local administrations, the head of state reminded the local authorities about the task to restore pig population this year. The President wanted to know how this task is being implemented in Minsk Oblast and Mogilev Oblast. “The personnel make hasty statements that pig population will be restored and we will expand pork sales. Are these statements grounded? We cannot leave people without pork,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    According to Yuri Gorlov, the pig population in Minsk Oblast will reach 703,000 head by 1 January 2015 (there were 680,000 head as of 1 January 2014). The increase will be achieved through the commissioning of new pig breeding complexes. Pork production and sales will be restored by 1 April 2015.

    Mogilev Oblast seeks to restore pig production on the back of new technologies.

    Addressing Fyodor Domotenko, the President expressed hope that he will advance the performance of MTZ to a brand-new level. "I hope that by sending you to Minsk Tractor Works, one of the flagships and, as they say, the face of our country, MTZ will add in the production and the quality of products. Today it is not just a factory. This is a holding company uniting 10 companies. This is a huge production corporation. This all will be on your shoulders. You are an experienced manager: who, if not you?" the head of state wondered. He drew attention to the fact that Fyodor Domotenko is well familiar with the situation at MTZ as he came all the way from a worker of the enterprise to its head.

    “Do not pay attention to all sorts of intricacies. If you have organizational problems, reach out to the President directly. I will support you in all matters, of course, reasonable matters. These may be difficult decisions but I will support you if this contributes to an increase in the output, product quality and marketing of these products. Pay special attention to trading houses and dealer network outside. Do not cover anyone. You do not need the old sins. Let those who have created the mess be held accountable for this. Pick up a team of reliable people who want to work, and get down to work," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

    The President underlined that he will assess business managers’ performance over January-September. He said that the most talented personnel made redundant during the government staff optimization campaign will be appointed executives of enterprises.

    "The situation is complicated, yet there are some encouraging opportunities. We need to seize the moment and pull our economy out of the teeth of the crisis. Smart managers should do this. Today, the main focus is not just the economy but the performance of enterprises, labor collectives," the President said.