Report on re-organization of Belarusian kolkhozes

  • 1
Interaction between the state and agricultural production cooperatives has to acquire a civilized legal form. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave the relevant instructions after hearing out a report on the re-organization of state-run agricultural enterprises on 18 November.

During the meeting it was noted that presidential decree No. 349 of 17 July 2014 provides for converting agricultural enterprises into more progressive organizational and legal forms by the end of 2016. Yet Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked: “During the latest Belarusian People’s Congress heads of several top-performing agricultural enterprises spoke in favor of rescinding several clauses of the decree that apply to their enterprises while the norm applies to all the agricultural enterprises. I met with heads of agricultural enterprises. Many pointed out that we don’t actually need such a document.”

The President gave instructions to revise the decree once again and find out why the document was ambiguously received by heads and members of agricultural production cooperatives. “If some are itching to modernize Belarusian agriculture and convert the enterprises into progressive forms, then you should leave them alone and let peasants do their job,” stressed the head of state. “What progressive forms are they talking about? Do we care about forms after all? Do some people dislike agricultural production cooperatives or kolkhozes as they were called in the past? We should just let agriculture work.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, regardless of how much effort is poured into modernizing and renaming the agricultural enterprises, nothing will change until they are granted financial, economical, and organizational support. “Until we force them to work after all. There is no sense in changing the name. This is why I want a report why some people now want these new progressive forms all of a sudden and what failed to match the legislation back then,” said the President. “I’ve recently seen an enterprise that has gone through such a modernization process. What changed there? The enterprise is in total disrepair and demonstrates abysmal performance. They’ve split the shares and are just sitting idle. Do we start trading in these shares just the way it is done in Russia? Are we going to wait for someone to come here, buy all the shares and revive Belarusian agriculture? It has never happened and never will.”

The head of state was informed about the draft document that had been prepared to amend decree No. 349 and about new approaches to these matters. In particular, it was noted that a production cooperative is a commercial entity, which members have to take part in the work process and bear joint responsibility. Plans have been made to introduce joint responsibility for members of agricultural production cooperatives.

After hearing the report Aleksandr Lukashenko gave instructions to switch interaction between the state and agricultural enterprises to a civilized legal form while building a smoothly operating mechanism and enforcing equal conditions for everyone.