Carte blanche for the government to correct situation

Alexander Lukashenko is dissatisfied with negative tendencies in industrial field and demands that the government corrects the situation during the first quarter of 2014
By Vasily Kharitonov

“The government reports that the situation with production stocks began to improve, supposedly there has been change,” noted the President at the meeting on issues of development in the industrial field. At the same time, the statistics shows that the volume of industrial output has decreased almost by 5 percent, external debt receivable has grown; debts for made and unpaid production are growing. As a whole, they have reached more than two average monthly volumes of output in industrial field. “How can it be a change if the money does not arrive in the enterprises’ accounts?” wondered Alexander Lukashenko.

The President noted that, most of all, he worries about the decrease of export deliveries and the absence of results in the expansion of their geography. “We have this situation because of the unwillingness and inability to trade,” Alexander Lukashenko considers. “In order to expand our deliveries abroad (to China, Venezuela, Ecuador and other countries) I have had to travel all over the world and receive in Minsk people from all over the globe, meet with different heads and business circles of many states to create favourable conditions for successful work in different regions of the planet. I should add that I did not notice any negative attitude to our goods anywhere.”

Alexander Lukashenko paid attention to the poor financial condition of the industrial enterprises. Net profit was reduced almost twice as the number of unprofitable enterprises has increased 1.8 times and considerable above-standard quantities of finished goods remain in warehouses. At the same time, in a number of gross-forming enterprises, they actually do not decrease. “All this means that obligations and commissions are not fulfilled properly,” emphasised the President.

A large group of heads and the highest ranking officials responsible for enterprises of the Ministry of Industry were invited to the meeting. The Head of State paid attention to the regular occurrence of this situation, as 40 percent of warehouse stocks of the country are formed by organisations of this department.

Mr. Lukashenko emphasised the necessity to comprehensively and deeply analyse the results of already carried out work, in order to set a proper pace for this year.

The Head of the Belarus President Administration, Andrei Kobyakov, noted that, from the inventory held in June 2013 to the meeting with the President, warehouse stocks were slightly reduced in monetary terms. However, the external receivable debt has grown during this period and, if to estimate in aggregate, so on the contrary there is growth. “Change has not occurred yet. There are only shoots of tendencies that show that we are coming closer to stabilisation on a certain level of production,” said Mr. Kobyakov.

Prime Minister, Mikhail Myasnikovich, explained the difficulties with the decrease of warehouse stocks with two reasons: weak competitiveness and inability to sell production. As for the external receivable debt, Mikhail Myasnikovich specified positive, in his opinion, moments in the current situation. “The debts receivable are funds owned by the importer. And if it to be null or make it minimum, so other manufacturers will come there, we then will never get in the markets of these countries,” he said. “Therefore debt receivable is a bad thing, but it is a chance that we will receive money from the companies and countries which import our production.”

The President turned his attention on one: since 2012, the salary at industry enterprises grew disproportionately in Minsk, compared to the results of their work. In this respect, the Minister of Industry Dmitry Katerinich lamented the deficiency of labour and experts.

However, Mikhail Myasnikovich pointed to the other side of the coin — the absence of proper demands on staff. There are many times when people who were fired for infringements of labour and industrial discipline, easily get a job at other enterprises.

As a whole, the meeting tackled various facets of the work of enterprises, ways to increase their competitiveness of production, reductions of warehouse stocks and the expansion of end markets.

Summing up the meeting, the President charged the government with, once again, analysing of all the problem issues in detail, and making concrete decisions which will produce economic benefits.

Addressing the Prime Minister, the President warned that, following the results of the first quarter of the current year, everyone will be responsible for the result. “I give you all rights in order to change the situation, even with the staff,” the Head of State said. “Do everything that you consider necessary, and do not say that you lacked the authority.”

Alexander Lukashenko also specified the areas of responsibility of governors, who should see and solve any problems that may arise on their level.
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