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22 August 2022, 19:59

Commercial timber sale rules adjusted in Belarus

MINSK, 22 August (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has signed decree No.294 to adjust rules and regulations concerning timber sales, BelTA has learned.

The document is designed to improve the procedure for selling timber to individuals and corporations and to satisfy demand for timber on the domestic market.

In line with the decree individuals can directly contact forestry enterprises in order to buy timber. The decree adjusts the list of legal persons and self-employed businessmen, who can buy timber from the fund of an oblast administration while bypassing the national commodity exchange. Exchange trade procedures for domestic timber sales have also been optimized.

The new rules will come into force one month after the decree is officially published.

BelTA reported earlier that Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave instructions to cheapen timber for housing construction as he visited V.I. Kremko Production Cooperative in Grodno District on 18 August. The head of state said he wanted measures to make this raw material cheaper, in particular, timber for building houses in the countryside.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Housing prices are extremely high right now. Timber prices have increased most of all. When I fly over the country, I see forests everywhere. There is plenty of timber. We sometimes fail to process in time. And if we process it, we make boards (I've forbidden exporting round logs) and export them. Meanwhile, our people have to pay crazy money in order to build houses, wooden houses.”

The president went on saying: “We have timber. Why can't we sell this timber to peasants for a bargain price? Then the house will be ten times cheaper. And then the individual and the executive will work hard. But these houses have to be rented out if we offer these preferences. The employer has to own these houses. Otherwise, people who build a house for free will quit right away. And maybe we could offer the preferences to people, who do not work in agriculture but live in the countryside. But not in the manner those peasants will enjoy,” the head of state contemplated some of the options. “In other words, we should think about ways to reduce prices for timber for housing construction. But it has to start with the countryside. And everything should be transparent. It must not be done indiscriminately.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko also admitted that after a person has been employed by an agricultural enterprise for a certain period of time, he or she may be granted the right to buy such houses but it is necessary to reduce the cost of construction of these houses first. “We need to make this housing cheaper. It is a disgrace that we have the timber but people either pay crazy money… Since prices are high, everyone wants but cannot build houses. We should think it through during winter,” he said.

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