Nationwide seminar to discuss Belarusian housing and utility sector

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Housing and utility services should be affordable for people, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the nationwide seminar to discuss the improvement and development of the Belarusian housing and utility sector on 20 October.

“There is a task for all: starting from 2018 we will increase the tariffs only once by 5$ and then there will be no increases without my knowledge. The services should be affordable for people. In this regard, I instruct the government, the State Control Committee to conduct a detailed inspection. On 1 January 2018 we will approve the tariffs by the president’s resolution,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state reminded that since the beginning of the year the utility rates have been increased in Belarus by 5$ in the equivalent and indexed in connection with the growth of people’s incomes. “As far as I know, such an increase took place in January 2017. At the same time, the government, the specialized ministry, the Trade Ministry have increased the tariffs by 8% and continue to frighten people that there will be a 10% increase in December. It is worth saying that people will start paying more in November because the heating season begins. This approach is directed against people. It is inadmissible,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized. “It will lead to a serious increase in payments and obviously cause a negative reaction from the public. The will be much resonance. Why cannot you index tariffs when heating is off and payments are smaller? However, we have already done it. I do not understand you, governors. Do you want to do a favor to our people or to certain international organizations?”

The president emphasized that it is inadmissible to hype up the public by the talks about the 100% reimbursement of utility costs starting from tomorrow. “This is also a political question. It is inadmissible to be in a hurry here. At first, we will calculate the exact tariffs to prevent, for example, electricity and water suppliers from trying to solve their problems at the cost of the population. And then we will make a decision on the full reimbursement of costs. I am convinced that when we calculate the tariffs in a very thorough manner once again we will see that the percentage of reimbursement is very high. It can even be 90%,” the head of state said.

“We do not have to conform to anybody. Do not forget that the interests of people rather than of any international organizations are the major priority of our social policy,” the president said.