Report on draft decree concerning forestry industry improvement

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It is essential to raise the efficiency of the forestry industry, President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as heard out a report on the draft decree concerning the improvement of the forestry industry on 9 March.

“We have dealt with the problems that exist in our forestry industry for many times, with onsite visits arranged. A number of decisions were made,” reminded the President. In his words, a short while ago the forestry minister delivered a report about how order in this sphere would be restored.

“The terms must be concrete and short,” the President said. “Taking years to set things straight is not an option,” he added.

The President stressed that forests represent one of the few renewable raw materials that Belarus has. There are about 1ha of forests and about 200m3 of standing wood per capita in Belarus. “It is a lot of wealth,” the head of state said.

The head of state reminded the meeting participants that before the launch of the wood processing industry upgrade program an agreement was reached to pay increased attention to this issue.

“Today it is essential to ensure the efficient operation of the entire forestry industry. First of all, this pertains to the deep processing of wood materials and manufacture of goods with a high added value,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

The draft decree concerning the improvement of the forestry industry provides for serious amendments to the existing regulations governing the industry. The President remarked that before the signing of the document he would like the developers of the draft decree to answer a number of questions.

In particular, how the suggested measures will help improve the forestry industry, raise the depth of timber processing, and produce more goods with a high added value. The head of state also inquired about the export of unprocessed timber and round timer. “I have already said that we need to stop such practices. What is the state of affairs now? It is inadmissible to export round timber for the benefit of anyone abroad. We should make and sell furniture, parts for the construction industry,” the President said.

Bearing in mind the fact that the draft decree suggests changing the existing procedure that Bellesbumprom enterprises use to sell timber, Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered what these changes specifically are and how the changes will affect the operation of Bellesbumprom Concern as well as other timber-processing enterprises.

“Are we going to introduce some kind of another privilege? Meanwhile, I am told that as of 1 March the debt arrears of Bellesbumprom enterprises for harvested timber totaled Br58 billion. On top of that, debts for sold standing wood were Br9 billion. Why is it allowed?” the head of state asked.

He demanded: “No privileges can be granted to undiligent managers.”

The head of state said he believes that at present nothing prevents agriculture or forestry industry from securing high growth rates. “We have everything for it. Both agriculture and forestry industry are well-supplied with cutting-edge machines,” said the head of state. “Energy resources used to be the greatest problem. But now they are twice as cheap and it is possible to reduce prime costs and increase quality”.

“If order and discipline are in short supply, well, we will fix it very soon. This is why, give me results,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

At the end of the meeting the head of state gave a number of instructions to raise the efficiency of the forestry industry.