Functions need reconsideration and optimisation

The work of state bodies should be transparent and easily understandable, demands President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, at session tackling issues of social and budgetary-finance spheres
The work of state bodies should be transparent and easily understandable, demands President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, at session tackling issues of social and budgetary-finance spheres

The Deputy Prime Minister, Natalia Kochanova, attended the session, alongside the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, Valery Mitskevich, the Minister for Labour and Social Protection, Marianna Shchetkina, and Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin.

The meeting tackled the work of the Fund for Social Protection of the Population, which governs pension payments. The possibility of increasing amounts came under discussion, alongside the level of child allowances. Employment issues came under scrutiny, with the Minister for Labour and Social Protection, Marianna Shchetkina, reporting on employment across each region and in the city of Minsk. In particular, she detailed possibilities for the employment of handicapped people and of graduates.

The Head of State asked about labour teams, being keen to see every able-bodied person given the opportunity to work. In this respect, labour teams play an important role. However, responsibility lies with employers and trade unions to provide work. Mr. Lukashenko is adamant that no one should be without employment, even if they are no longer needed at their existing enterprise.

Enhancing the efficiency of state bodies also came under scrutiny, with the question asked as to whether some functions can be streamlined, to reflect 21st century needs. Mr. Lukashenko is keen to see budgetary expenditure used wisely but stresses that no jobs should be cut unless truly necessary.

The session also focused on the efficiency of people’s petitions to local authorities, ministries and government agencies. The President has demanded that all petitions prioritising public interests receive due attention, without being bogged down in red tape.

The Head of State asked about progress regarding the pension system, corresponding proposals of people and labour teams. Marianna Shchetkina reminded that in view of the forthcoming transformations in the pension system there are plans to create at least 50,000 jobs. These issues are in the centre of attention of the government. Prospects for developing entrepreneurship were also on the agenda, with Mr. Lukashenko urging the promotion of conditions for entrepreneurship and private business. These encourage work opportunities, to produce income for individuals and the state, via taxes.

Finance Minister Vladimir Amarin informed the President of the implementation of the budget in the first months of 2016 and Mr. Lukashenko instructed the full and timely fulfilment of all social obligations.

By Alexander Pimenov
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