President attends meeting to discuss formation of innovation funds

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to work out a clear mechanism of formation of innovation funds at a session on 13 March.

    According to the head of state, the Government has submitted a proposal regarding the use of innovation funds. “This is not an easy issue. There are many points of view. Therefore it is necessary to develop the most appropriate and effective approach. Of course, it will be based on national interests and priorities in the development of our country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

    He recalled that the work on innovation funds began in 1996. Back then their main goal was to stimulate the production of Ramp;D goods, to manufacture high technology products. Financial means were concentrated in the sectors and were channeled into the most promising projects and public programs. “In recent years, the innovative development has been one of our priorities. These budgetary funds are designed to help implement this priority,” the head of state noted.

    However, according to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the serious analysis of the situation revealed a number of trends. First, each year fewer enterprises make contributions to innovation funds. In 2009, there were over 25,000 donor organizations (including the retail sector). In 2011 they were ten times as less. In 2012 there are proposals to reduce them further.

    Second, the President continued, the share of innovation funds in the gross domestic product is reducing. In 2011, it was 0.7% as against almost 2% in 2009.

    Third, a decreasingly small part of these funds is used to finance innovations. Thus, in 2010 capital investment accounted for over 50% of the funds at a time when Ramp;D and state innovation development programs made up only 11%. The same is true about the 2011 year.

    “Here the position of the Government is unclear. The efficient use of the resources of the specialized fund is deteriorating. No measures are taken to rectify the situation. Apart from this, there are enough facts of money wasting. These issues require the attention of the State Control Committee,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “A lot of questions arise in this respect: is the existing method of the funds’ organization optimal? Will state-run companies end up carrying the entire burden? May the collection and distribution of funds be considered fair? And the main thing is what should be done to ensure the maximum efficiency?” the head of state asked the participants of the meeting and demanded clear answers from them.