Working trip to Grodno Oblast

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko demanded measures for more effective social and economic development of Grodno Oblast. He made the statement at a meeting held in Volkovysk on 13 August to discuss the social and economic development of Grodno Oblast.

The head of state noted that he started his working visit not from a tour of concrete companies, but from a thorough analysis of the social and economic development of Grodno Oblast and Volkovysk District. “I was, first of all, interested in the implementation of the plans that were outlined as A Matrix of Goals for the Vertical Power. This program was worked out last year. We agreed then that we would regularly monitor the process of implementation of the most important targets. I am concerned that such a strong region as Grodno Oblast failed to meet five out of eight key parameters in H1 2016,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that he was ready for a serious discussion of the reasons behind the backward performance and failure to implement a set of instructions, and also emphasized the need to work out concrete measures to address the problems in the region. The President added that he would also like to listen to the opinion of representatives of the controlling bodies and ministries on the performance of the local authorities and their cooperation with the nationwide structures. “The assessment and proposals should be worth consideration,” the Belarusian leader underlined.

Chairman of the State Control Committee Leonid Anfimov reported to the head of state that many problems in the regions are not addressed due to the fact that local authorities do not bring up these issues to the attention of the government, and the government is unaware of them and therefore the problems are not addressed. “There are questions that need to be addressed at the level of ministries and the government. I know that this happens. Governors do not bring up the issues and the government is happy being uninvolved,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President stressed: “The accountability will be tough for this. If the governor does not maintain a dialogue with the government, this means there will be a new governor. If the government does not understand the local authorities, this means there will be a new government.”

The participants in the meeting had a thorough and detailed discussion of the problems the Belarusian region is facing. Local authorities and senior executives of Grodno Oblast-based enterprises that have trouble attaining the established development targets presented their view of the situation.

In particular, the head of state wanted to know about the development of OAO Krasnoselskstroymaterialy. Director of the enterprise Valentin Veretilo told the President that Krasnoselskstroymaterialy aims to be in the black by the end of 2016. “We have preserved our positions on the markets, we are boosting export, enterprises have become more financially reliable, therefore, we will be in the black by the end of the year. Our net profit from product sales made up Br13.5 billion (pre-redenomination) in June. We are also increasing the output of cement,” Valentin Veretilo said.

After the session the head of state visited the unprofitable Volkovysk Plant of Roof and Construction-Finishing Machines (KSOM trademark). It was not included in the program of the working trip.

At the enterprise Aleksandr Lukashenko met with a Turkish investor who would like to buy this plant. “If we agree that within the next two years you make the company work, install high-tech equipment and start producing export-oriented products, we will give a 5-year grace,” the head of state noted. The President stressed that the investor would be supported by the district and oblast authorities. Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed Chairman of the State Control Committee Leonid Anfimov to supervise the implementation of the project.

The head of state also visited one of the best enterprises in the region – OAO Khatkovtsy, particularly, dairy farms Yanovo and Rupeiki. This visit was not included in the program either.