Working trip to Minsk Oblast

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It is essential to use the funds for the support of children and the elderly in a rational and efficient way, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during his visit to the Nikolayevshchina rest home for war and labor veterans, disabled people on 30 December.

In particular, the President was informed about the development of the system of social security for the elderly and disabled people in the republic, various forms of work in this field. “Of course, it is good that there are various forms of supporting the elderly. But we need to find the ways to systematize what we have,” the head of state said addressing Labor and Social Security Minister Valery Malashko.

“The state should support the elderly and children. This is a priority for the social state. In this context, an optimal system and structure are needed to spend more money on children and the elderly,” the Belarusian leader stated.

According to the President, the Belarusian business should take a more active part in charity programs, provide more care and support to children and elderly people. The head of state said that positive foreign experience is very useful here. He gave an instruction to step up efforts in this field in Belarus. “If you are a rich person, earn at least $1 million per year, you can work for charitable causes after paying taxes and other duties,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Think about it. They should not even be forced to do it. Just ask people, encourage them, and they will give some money. They themselves will become elderly people. It is not necessarily right that they will be as rich as they are now.”

The President stressed that it is a bad idea to provide support to children and elderly people only on big occasions.

The head of state also answered the questions of journalists. The fact that all kinds of shocks and misfortunes happened somewhere else instead of Belarus is the key event of the year 2016, the President said. Aleksandr Lukashenko also mentioned as important the fact that more kids were born in Belarus in 2016 than in previous years of the country’s independence. The birth rate in Belarus now exceeds the mortality rate, which means the nation grows larger, the President noted

In his words, scial issues have always been and will be in the center of attention in Belarus. : “People represent the most important thing in any country and we declare we have a socially-oriented state, a state for people. As I often say, nuts and bolts of the economy mean something only when they are used for the benefit of people. If people don’t benefit from them, then the economy is useless and people don’t need such a state. This is why everything should be done for the benefit of the people,” the President said.

The Belarusian head of state hopes that the Year of Science in Belarus will be more fruitful than the outgoing Year of Culture. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that if a year is declared, for instance, a Year of Culture, everyone expects to see some great achievements in this field. “Maybe I was too much distracted dealing with other issues, but I cannot recall any outstanding results. This year has been a normal year for the culture,” the Belarusian leader said.

Journalists asked the head of state about the present he would like to receive for New Year. “I would like the average salary in the country to reach $500 in equivalent. This would be the best New Year present for me,” the President said.

The President stressed that colossal efforts will be needed to achieve this goal.