MINSK, 6 October (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko asked to find solutions to end food commodity speculation in Belarus as he spoke at a government meeting to discuss economic matters in Minsk on 6 October, BelTA has learned.
The president mentioned the problem of so-called unscrupulous mediation. “What is unscrupulous mediation at all? It should be clearly spelled out: there should be no mediation. No mediation at all,” said the Belarusian leader.
Talking about mediators in the sale of domestic products in foreign markets, producers should play the main role there. “If we sell a tractor outside the country, then if mediators sell it, MTZ should play the main role there, and not just give that tractor away to the mediator and take no care of what price this mediator sets in Russia or in China,” said the Belarusian leader. According to him, mediators and traders jack up prices throughout the entire sale chain.
“The government spends a lot of money from the budget, for example, to support agricultural producers in the form of cheap loans for processing enterprises, to create favorable conditions for retail facilities. Given all these measures, milk, bread, meat, cereals and other socially important products still continue to rise in price every month," the Belarusian leader said.
According to him, the situation is even worse with non-food items, the prices of which have risen by 18% since the beginning of the year. “If it is Adidas, Nike or Zara, then let it be so. If someone wants to buy this imported stuff at crazy prices, let them buy it. However, the prices for domestic footwear and clothing have risen, too,” the president said.
The head of state also mentioned some businessmen: “First, they raised the prices because of the increased exchange rate, and when our currency strengthened, they ‘forgot' for some reason to lower the prices.”
“Did the governors with their offices of 300 employees, the government and the National Bank not see that? Did you not notice that? Why didn't you take a look and do your best to restore justice?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.
“Speculators easily profit from disruptions in the supply chain. The State Control Committee has been reporting facts when apples, onions, beets and cabbage, grown by our agricultural enterprises, are bought from mediators with a 300% markup!” the president said. Aleksandr Lukashenko demanded the officials to solve the issue.