Session to discuss economic issues

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has stated that Belarus’ economy got back on track. The President made this statement at a session to discuss topical economic development issues on 26 December.

“The time when we are holding this session is not that dramatic. More than that, we can say that the issues that were so acute a week ago are being successfully resolved,” the head of state said.

The President noted that individual groups of managers and executives did not welcome the decisions adopted recently. “This is natural: some do not like the increased cost of foreign currency. Some do not like that we took price formation under control. Some do not like that we support domestic producers. “However, domestic producers do not always realize it. We will come to grips with the executives in the near term. I guess very many of them have been holding their positions too long. This can be rectified,” the Belarusian leader said.

“One should understand that we chose the lesser evil. While dealing with the issues, we outlined the number one task that should be addressed first and foremost – the stability on the currency market,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“We are fully aware that the decisions we have adopted have certain consequences, including negative ones. The most important thing now is economic growth. Economy should work. Everything should be done so that labor collectives keep working, because they are our people – Belarusians. This people should go to work before the holidays and after them, they should work and get their salaries. This is the logic,” the President said.

The head of state underlined that top on the agenda today is dealing with the consequences of the decisions made. “The negative consequences should be eliminated; the positive trends should be maintained. I have told our government about it every day before this session,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President is outraged by the officials who send signals to businesses suggesting that the price controls will soon be removed and businessmen will be able to get back the missed profits. “I was informed about it and it turned out to be true that some of our dishonest officials recommend businessmen, dealers and all kinds of rogues to wait until the 9th or 15th saying that soon everything will be set loose and they will be able to win back everything they are losing. I want to declare that the trend to set price controls will remain in place in the country forever,” the President noted.

The head of state is informed that “traders, intermediaries, hucksters and rogues working in this sector have become the country’s richest people”.

“We have done everything to promote civilized trade in the country. Even if not a single trading company is set up in Belarus starting from tomorrow, we will still have a vast number of such companies and intermediaries. We will do without new ones. Those who already operate will have to work in the proper way. I have already said and I will reiterate it if they have not heard or believed it that the profitability should make up 2-3%. We will take every type of commodity under control, especially imported commodities,” Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined.

“It is no point for them to wait until the 9th or 15th hoping that they will sell everything they have stashed and will line their pockets with a lot of money,” the head of state concluded.

He demanded that the government should present a report about what had been done over the past week to stabilize the economic situation in the country and address the current tasks. He also demanded that the National Bank should inform about the efforts to strengthen the monetary system. The President emphasized that he meant the monetary system in general, not just the situation in currency exchange offices and on the currency exchange.

The State Control Committee will present their findings on the efficiency of payments with Russia and suggestions to streamline the payment system.

The governors and the Minsk Mayor are to present a report on the situation in the regions taking into consideration the recent steps undertaken by the government and the National Bank.

The head of state upheld the measures taken to prevent the escalation of the negative trends in the financial sector and on the consumer market. The President ordered to keep working to maintain stabile economic development.

The President instructed the trade industry to avoid unjustified raising of prices for goods, to ensure a broad choice of products, and to prevent ungrounded closure of retail outlets.

Top on the agenda of the session was the export of Belarusian food products to Russia. Vice Premier Mikhail Rusy informed that the matter is being resolved gradually and several more companies will be able to resume their supplies to the Russian market in the near term.

Manufacturers and the Belarusian Foreign Ministry were tasked to ramp up efforts to promote the export of Belarus-made products. This would contribute to stable economic growth and help raise additional foreign currency resources.

The situation on the financial and currency market is getting back on track, too. Chairman of the State Control Committee Leonid Anfimov informed the President about the development of a regulatory act aimed to prevent illegal foreign currency deals.

The President said that he is set to make a series of crucial personnel decisions before the New Year. “Tomorrow we will discuss a number of personnel-related matters and will make the necessary decisions. They will be many,” the head of state informed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the decisions should be passed and the tasks should be set for new executives before the New Year.