Session to discuss state of affairs in transport industry

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Actions meant to resolve problems of the transport industry have to produce tangible results. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko outlined the task on 7 April as he heard out a report from Transport and Communications Minister Anatoly Sivak. The report covered the state of affairs in the transport industry, problems and development prospects.

The President stressed that he did not expect the members of the government, who are responsible for this branch of the economy, to come up with generalities. The head of state said he wanted a vision of the problems and ways for the transport industry to recover from the current situation. Present negative trends could not but affect the performance of the country’s transport system, noted Aleksandr Lukashenko. “The state of affairs is complicated everywhere these days. We know it. The actions, which are taken, have to produce tangible results,” demanded the head of state.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the transport industry is the foundation of the infrastructure of the entire economy and the key connecting link, for which development the state is directly responsible. This sphere comprises thousands of kilometers of communications, over 10,000 enterprises and organizations that employ over 280,000 people. The head of state pointed out that transport services account for nearly half of Belarus’ export of services.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said he wanted a report about the real state of affairs in transport industry enterprises, about the problems that transport enterprises and road construction and maintenance enterprises face, and, most of all, how these problems were being addressed. Independent experts are monitoring the situation. “I have come to believe that the government does not take care of these problems at all. The vice premier stays away from them and the minister does not particularly take a close interest in it either. The specialists, who are concerned about the transport industry, mention some problems at the level of transport enterprises,” said the head of state.

Apart from that, the President said he would like to learn what was being done to reduce prime costs, increase the affordability and quality of transport services for individuals and corporations. “I am sick and tired of speculations claiming that cross-subsidizing has destroyed transport arteries and the transport industry,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko. “There is no cross-subsidizing in Belarus. There are tariffs and prices. Use them.”

The President was also interested in what difficulties were encountered in international transportation, particularly in transportation to countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, how other regions were evaluated with a view to exporting more transport services.

The head of state was told that the current situation in the transport industry is influenced by unfavorable factors in the global trade.