Session to discuss topical social and economic development issues

  • 1
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has instructed members of the government and governors to take strong action to resolve the issues facing the country and individual economic sectors. Aleksandr Lukashenko made this statement at a session to discuss topical social and economic development issues on 26 February.

“The statistics for January is already available; February is over, too. Despite some positive trends in individual industries, the economy in general is not growing. The manufacturing industry is lagging behind, warehouse stocks and mutual non-payments are mounting. The measures to promote export are not working so far. This is already having its toll on people. Real income is not increasing,” the President noted.

“We know that we are not the only ones to face this kind of issues. However, we should not blame external factors for all our issues,” the Belarusian leader said.

The head of state told the government to submit a report on the current situation, to put forward concrete proposals and to inform him about the fulfillment of earlier instructions. “It is high time to get out of offices and get down to real work. Today it is a number one task. You passed an action plan, submitted it to the parliament, as you were supposed to do in line with the legislation. However, this is not what I am going to discuss today. The scenarios you came up with – three, five or ten – are exclusively your business. I am interested in trends, progress and the things that were done to get the money for the products sold,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The President strongly warned against overdue accounts receivable for exports. “This is a criminal offence. We have already taken this problem onto the level of prosecutors of Belarus and Russia,” the President noted.

Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov presented a report on the country’s economic situation and the government’s plans to address existing issues. In his words, the December shocks caused by the devaluation of the Russian ruble, the actual contraction of the Russian market delivered a heavy blow on the Belarusian economy. “It is obvious that the tough measures to restore economic balance that were implemented in December and January could not but affect the real sector and its financial performance. Therefore, the economic policy should focus on helping the industrial sector get back on track. The efforts to address this issue will involve the banking sector, export, employment and household income,” Andrei Kobyakov noted.

The President was informed that in February the situation stabilized in a number of industries, on the currency market and in the financial sector. The government is implementing a series of measures to stimulate the export of Belarusian products and diversify sales markets. Other key points on the agenda included import substitution and the quality of domestic products.

A decision was made to set up a monitoring group that will put forward suggestions to promote sustainable development of the country’s social and economic sectors.