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10 February 2023, 14:49

PM: Prices are under control in Belarus

MINSK, 10 February (BelTA) - The situation in pricing remains under control, the regulatory system is working, Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko told the media following a meeting on pricing matters with the head of state Aleksandr Lukashenko, BelTA has learned.

"The main result is that the system has been developed. It is working. It did not lead to negative effects either for business or for trade. It is not dogmatic, open to modification. The first deputy prime minister, on the instruction of the president, will hold an extended meeting with market participants, with the management and owners of trade enterprises and retail chains. If necessary, additional measures will be developed," the prime minister said.

The tasks have been set for the government. The heads of government bodies involved in this work reported on the situation. It is stable and controlled," Roman Golovchenko emphasized.

The prime minister noted that the deflation was recorded at the end of last year.

"There are no setbacks. The fact that the president raised questions and criticized certain points does not mean that we tried to hide some things or ignored them. Indeed, we underperformed in some respects," the head of government said.

For example, the head of state drew special attention to the sale of products from stabilization funds. "Their task [of the stabilization funds] is twofold. The first is to create a guaranteed stock of vegetables so that Belarusian potatoes, beets, carrots should be available in retail at affordable prices, and also in schools, hospitals and so on," Roman Golovchenko explained.

However, there was no proper organizational approach to the maintenance of such funds earlier. Certain volumes of products were stocked but sometimes not maintained properly. As a result, by spring the country needed to import products.

"In pursuance of the president's instructions, we seek to streamline the work of the stabilization funds. We need a system in place. We need to determine the volumes of the stocks, pick up buyers and set the price corridor. Already last year we had certain results in this field. This year, I think they're going to be better," Roman Golovchenko assured.

He also emphasized that in terms of prices, not only administrative control is important. Supply and demand play a role in pricing as well. "Everything has to be balanced. In addition to administrative measures, economic measures are also needed. We must offer more of Belarusian goods," the prime minister said.

Import substitution programs are also focused on this. For example, the agricultural industry has been increasing the production of fruit, berry and other crops. One of the striking examples is blueberries. Belarus has practically stopped importing them. The same applies to the development of horticulture and domestic apple production.

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