Afterword to the session on topical aspects of country’s development

Direction of concrete actions

No drastic change is required, only further improvement, with ever rising standards being set, for the Government, heads of regions and state agencies. The main goal is to enhance public welfare; progress in this sphere should be noticeable by next year.

Author of the picture Oleg Karpovich

Mr. Lukashenko commented that the Government for the next five-years, and all Government agencies were mainly formed before the Presidential elections, enabling people to see who will be working for the benefit of the country after an election (if a certain president were elected). Some change is possible, for instance, if someone fails to demonstrate their ability in a certain field. The most important quality is for a person to have vision.

The President emphasised, “Each head of branch must prove his ability to manage, as must all high ranking officials wishing to continue for this new five-year term. This especially relates to the Government, the Presidential Administration, the Security Council and power structures. It refers to all power branches. It will be impossible to work in the old way, not only because we are up against time but because I demand this. I’ll be paying attention to members of the Government and governors. The sovereignty and security of our country depends on our economy. The Government, governors and subordinated structures are responsible for our economy.”

The President has demanded concrete plans of action from those in charge of ministries, and people are waiting in anticipation. They’ve supported the current power during elections and would like to know how life is going to become better. Mr. Lukashenko explained, “A critical mass of expectation has accumulated in society. We don’t have the right to ignore these expectations.”

The President believes that today is the best time for efficiency, with energy prices and those for raw materials being lower than ever before. Meanwhile, we boast high technologies and well-trained specialists.

There has been much speculation about reform of late and the state’s position remains unchanged: no major change is planned, only improvement, with no sharp or unpopular measures.

Mr. Lukashenko underlined that the major requirements towards heads at all levels are well-known, and that executive discipline is to the fore. If some structures need optimisation, this should be reflected in executives’ plans and through the raising of salaries.

The President noted, “By the end of next year, our level of salaries should be significantly improved; it’s our major goal.”

The President openly warned the participants of the session that hard work lies ahead, and that there will be no place to hide. He stressed, “We need to open a new page in developing our state and should open it together: fairly, principally, worthily and responsibly. Most serious tests lie ahead and it’s necessary to ensure further development while maintaining this sovereign and independent country we’ve created together.”

By Vladimir Khromov

Speaking to the point

David Rotman, Director of the BSU Centre for Sociological and Political Research:

It’s true that a mass of expectations has accumulated in society, which need to be satisfied. People are expecting change for the better. It’s an acute issue but the situation is not critical. Problems always exist, and stability presupposes that we adapt to the times. The President is absolutely correct in saying that positive changes should happen, and that problematic situations should be removed. In this respect, it’s vial and natural to state that reform in Belarus aims to improve the existing order without damaging what has been already created.

Boris Panshin, Professor of the BSU Economics Faculty:

Contemporary economics and dynamics of change place requirements on our professionalism. It’s difficult not to agree with the President in this respect, since some people do fall short in occupying managerial positions. They are the major force ‘guiding’ state policy and our expectations are high. Their work is called ‘service’, requiring devotion and commitment. Our officials need to show professionalism, since mistakes cost dearly. World experience shows that new equipment can ensure 20 percent of success, as can new raw materials, while those in management positions account for 60 percent of success.

Anatoly Akantinov, Director General of the Marketing Systems Strategic Development Centre:

Exports are vital to our country, to ensure improved living standards. We need to manufacture as much as possible, while maintaining quality. Our ‘World of Tanks’ computer game is a successful example of quality rather than quantity. If we focus on tourism, making our country more attractive than that of our neighbours, tourists will come, proving our degree of quality. We need to accentuate progressive technologies, both in production and in promotion to sales markets. We can form alliances with other countries in certain directions, seeking out where our interests intersect, to serve mutual advantage. Exports are an indicator of economic efficiency.

Andrey Rusakovich, political expert:

Without exaggeration, executive discipline is a key element of development. As far as the political development of society and of the country is concerned, decisions tend to be adopted via consensus. Meanwhile, technological production processes rely on good executive discipline to achieve success and be competitive. Every branch needs to do its part, since we are members of a competitive global economy.

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