Government needs to come out of their offices
Alexander Lukashenko organises members of the Government and regional authorities for direct practical participation in the solution of issues regarding the country’s development given the difficult economic conditions
Strategic course of Novopolotsk Plant of Technological Metal Constructions is to renew production
“The statistics for January are already available and February has now ended. Despite some positive trends in individual industries, the economy in general is not growing. The manufacturing industry is lagging behind while warehouse stocks and mutual non-payments are mounting. The measures to promote export are not working so far. This is already taking its toll on people. Real income is not increasing,” stated the President at a session to discuss topical social and economic development issues. “We know that we are not the only ones to face these kinds of issues. However, we should not blame external factors for all our problems.”
The Head of State told the Government to submit a report on the current situation, to put forward concrete proposals and to inform him about the fulfilment of earlier instructions. “It’s high time to get out of our offices and get down to real work. Today as a matter of urgency,” said Mr. Lukashenko. “You’ve passed an action plan, submitted it to Parliament, as you were bound to do in line with the legislation. However, it is not the detail of the plan I’m interested in today but trends, progress and what was done to obtain money for the products sold.” The President strongly criticised overdue accounts receivable for exports. “This is a criminal offence. We’ve already taken this problem to a higher level with prosecutions in both Belarus and Russia”.
Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov presented a report on the country’s economic situation and the Government’s plans to address existing issues. According to him, the December shocks caused by the devaluation of the Russian Rouble and actual contraction of the Russian market delivered a heavy blow to the Belarusian economy. “It’s obvious that the tough measures to restore the economic balance that were implemented in December and January could not but affect the real sector and its financial performance. Therefore, economic policy should focus on helping the industrial sector get back on track. The efforts to address this issue will involve the banking sector, export, employment and household income,” noted the PM.
Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov reported on the state of the economy and the Government’s plans to solve existing problems. Furthermore, he clarified the situation regarding the financial markets particularly where currency is concerned. Import substitution and production quality were also high on the agenda. As a result of the meeting, general conclusions were made, including a decision to establish a monitoring group to develop concrete proposals on certain issues concerning the country’s socio-economic development.
Pavel Kallaur, Chairman of the National Bank’s Board:
January was not a straightforward month for our economic development owing to continuing issues accumulated in December 2014 on the foreign currency and financial markets. In February, however, a positive change was seen and we are now enjoying a stable situation primarily on the currency market. Individuals’ and companies’ demand for foreign currency has been met in full. A similarly stable situation has been registered on the investments market. As regards the banking system, new approaches to credit have been studied and the emphasis put on the most efficient projects. At the same time, all temporary restrictions on credit, introduced in late 2014, have been lifted.
Vasily Matyushevsky, First Deputy Prime Minister:
Additional efforts will be needed to counteract the consequences of losses in our traditional markets. A plan is in place to join markets outside the Customs Union. Accordingly, a complex of measures is needed to promote and support exports. No doubt, the coming year will bring challenges. There is ambiguity on some foreign markets and, with this in mind, we recommend businesses adopt a flexible approach to fluctuations in these markets, whilst cutting domestic expenses significantly and promoting exports (especially on non-traditional goods). In turn, the Government aims to create favourable conditions to stimulate and advance trade and to promote exports at a political level.
By Vasily Kharitonov