Session to discuss urgent issues of timer industry development

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More efficient measures are needed to solve the issues in the timber industry, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the session held on 18 June to discuss urgent issues of the development of timber enterprises, problems and solutions.

“It is not the first time when we discuss the issues of timber plants. We even had to make unpopular decisions in relation to certain enterprises. But I am reported that the situation is not rosy there. The so called temporary difficulties have persisted for a rather long period of time,” the Belarusian President stressed. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, there are many explanations for such a situation, and directors are often looking for these explanations instead of taking concrete measures.

“It is clear that markets have declined, rivals work faster than we do, resources in Russia are cheaper, etc. But these are just excuses which will not be accepted today. Those who think this way does not know what the situation is like around us. Although resources are even more expensive in Europe, their prices and quality are more acceptable. Therefore, let’s stop looking for external reasons, but analyze the real situation and find solutions. Even if what you are saying about the situation is true, it has nothing to do with the issues we have to address. We are living in these conditions. You occupy these posts to solve pending issues in the conditions we have,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The President said that this year the government insisted on the passing of a decree regarding the restructuring of the debts of a number of enterprises, and the decree was signed. A new draft decree was prepared a month later. “It is still unclear when these temporary problems will go away, how the enterprises will be developing, and whether the proposals of the government will help revitalize the timber industry,” the President noted.

He also stressed that no one needs hollow promises. “We must avoid self-deception and postponing decisions till a more favorable time,” the head of state demanded.

“I think that the prime minister gave a clear-cut answer to the question why we needed to hold these meeting in addition to the events which had been already held by the president. We also need to specify for whom the new scheme we envisaged in the draft decree is meant: for enterprises or banks. Will we be able to avoid the situation when bad debts are hidden in the budget and the problems remain unsolved?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.

The President also wondered: “Why do we involve the Development Bank when all crediting banks are able to solve all pending issues locally and individually? I expect Vladimir Semashko to provide the explanations and objective information about the results of modernization. You have been in charge of it from the very beginning. Directors and event prime ministers were replaced, but we need to focus on the present-day situation.”

The development of the industry is also supervised by the State Control Committee. “The chairman of the State Control Committee backed all proposals of the government. I would like to listen to your principled evaluation of the situation once again,” the head of state remarked.

He reminded that more than $1 billion was injected in the upgrade program. “What comes next? Will we finish modernization and just wait for the revival of the markets or will we take potent measures to develop the industry?” the President asked.

He also said that he would like to listen to the alternative opinions on these matters.

The head of state gave a number of instructions to solve all pending issues in the timber industry.