MINSK, 10 October (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said what will happen next with the moratorium on price growth as he hosted a meeting on security matters in Minsk on 10 October, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed the topic of the recent meeting on economic matters and explained why such events are held at the level of the head of state: "The main goal of the meeting on prices and similar meetings is to remove the points of tension and discontent of people. We see from sociological surveys that rising prices and inflation in the country are already trending in second place [of people's concerns]."
"The concept of justice is at the heart of our policy. We will continue to adhere to it. I want you to understand. Some have started lamenting and moaning, especially those from abroad... The main thing is not the ban on price growth. It is not. Please read the directive. The main thing is to develop a pricing control system. Before this system is there (it's only a few days), prices should not rise indeed," the Belarusian leader said.
He noted that these days, MPs, trade unions, the State Control Committee and everyone, who has been tasked with this mission, have been monitoring the execution of the president's instruction to ban price increases. "A slight increase in prices has been registered only in a dozen of the thousands of inspected facilities. Criminal cases have been opened into all these cases," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state stressed that one of the important results of pricing control should be the personalization of responsibility for price growth. The ministers in charge of the production of goods and the governors in charge of the state of retail will be responsible for this.
"If we are afraid that this might lead to some kind of deficit, then governors and ministers will make an appropriate decision. But they will be keeping tabs on the situation," the Belarusian leader said. According to him, now almost no one is responsible for this. "His majesty the market rules," the president said ironically. “But we already know what the market is about. We were constantly pushed into the abyss of market relations, that is, into a mess and confusion.”
Market economy proponents, when it is profitable for them or when they want to deal with the pressure of public opinion, are ready not even to regulate but to dictate prices even for other countries' goods, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked. One of the latest examples is the desire of the West to set prices for oil and gas from Russia. "I am afraid that Saudi Arabia might soon join the list. The United States has already blamed them for the rise in prices [for fuel]," the head of state said.
He stressed that he had long been aware of such "specifics" of the market economy, but in Belarus many specialists have supported market pricing.
"Once again, I emphasize, price growth is a source of people's discontent. These sources should not exist," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.