MINSK, 31 October (BelTA) – Prices should be set in line with the rules established by the state, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said while receiving a report from Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko, BelTA has learned.
“Don't forget about prices. I invited Mr Snopkov [First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov was in attendance] to remind him that my demand regarding price regulation and price setting is not just some instruction or wish on the spur of the moment. I tell him about it every day. And I would like to hear updates on it. Probably you did not foresee everything in the government resolution, as is usually the case. But if we missed something, it is necessary to rectify it,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko responded to some talks that “the so-called business has gone sour” in Belarus lately. “When I ask what kind of business, they say that these are individual entrepreneurs who have always caused us trouble. Putting the interests of this kind of business above the interests of the whole country is too much. If they bring here some goods, sell them, it means that they are doing well,” the head of state said.
In this regard, the president recalled that he once gave instructions, including to Nikolai Snopkov, to develop a strategy to regulate this type of business. “We have repeatedly tried to come to grips with these so-called self-employed entrepreneurs who import goods without invoices. And back then we agreed that we would help individual entrepreneurs who are engaged in such trade, and organize wholesale imports of products to Belarus. “Directly to Belarus. So that they would not have to go around back streets of Russia, Türkiye or China where they do not even get invoices for what they buy and the prices for such goods are unclear and the certificates are not always in order,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He recommended that the first deputy prime minister should take the fulfillment of these instructions under control. “And God forbid, they are not fulfilled! Therefore, do not push anyone away, do not do wrong to them either. It is necessary to create an enabling environment for them to work transparently. And it is time for them to work transparently and not interfere with the light industry. In fact, they bring this cheap schmatte and sell it to our people, while the domestic light industry is constantly decreasing. Lugina [Tatiana Lugina, head of the Belarusian light industry concern Bellegprom] has recently spoken about this,” the head of state said.
“Therefore, we are not going to mistreat anyone, but their operations should be transparent. And prices must be under control and in accordance with the government resolution. And do not forget that we will revisit this issue after 7 November. Be ready to report on what has been done, on how the market is doing and so on,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed those who do not want to stick to the rules and who make unreasonable claims to the government: “I would like to emphasize that those who today put forward unclear, unrightful demands to the government and are unwilling to work according to the rules that we have established, must be held accountable for this. If you are running a retail business, you cannot just quit it. If you do, you will face certain consequences. I have warned you about this. Quit, we don't force anyone to stay. But consequences will be very serious.”
“The chairman of the State Control Committee [Chairman of the State Control Committee Vasily Gerasimov was also among the participants of the meeting] will tell us later how many apartments these entrepreneurs engaged in small retail businesses have, be it in Minsk or district capitals. We will have a close look at all their property if refuse to work according to the rules. We do not want them to work at a loss. This cannot be allowed. We will not set prices. Let them set prices, but according to the rules determined by the state. This is fundamental,” the head of state emphasized.