MINSK, 13 January (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko is hosting a meeting with the Council of the Ministers to discuss a number of important issues, BelTA has learned.
“Among the issues high on the agenda of the meeting are draft decisions to improve the procurement system, manage real estate of joint home ownership, improve financial literacy of the population. The agenda also includes one more topic that I want to discuss at this meeting. This is the setting up a new state body – the Digital Development and Communications Ministry,” the president said.
In his words, it is necessary to thoroughly understand whether the approaches proposed in the relevant documents will help solving the existing problems and what consequences are to expect.
On procurement system
“The first issue for discussion is the procurement system. It has always been an object of my close attention because it is one of the significant instruments of the economic policy. I have repeatedly instructed to use it to improve the competitiveness of the economy, to spend money efficiently and to prevent all kinds of gray schemes,” the president said.
In his words, the government has prepared a draft decree, which would eliminate, as the government believes, unscrupulous mediation and improve the system of procurement at the expense of budgetary and own funds of enterprises.
“With any innovations, however, enterprises need to ensure uninterrupted processes of their economic activities and also run money saving programs,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
According to Minister of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Aleksei Bogdanov, a draft decree to improve the legislation on procurement is submitted to the head of state. “The proposed innovations will help save the budget funds and increase the share of domestic goods in public procurement. The first thing that is proposed is a ban on the participation of affiliated persons in government procurement,” said Aleksei Bogdanov.
In his words, affiliate fix-up is one of corruption elements which leads to significant overpricing.
Another innovation is that rental and leasing operations will to be carried out on a competitive basis. “We will thus exclude the cases when imported equipment or machinery is purchased without competitive procedures and without the participation of Belarusian suppliers,” the minister said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the document should have the corresponding effect and really help eliminate existing shortcomings.
On setting up the Digital Development and Communications Ministry
Another issue brought up at the meeting is a draft decree to set up a new state body, the Digital Development and Communications Ministry, on the basis of the existing Communications and Informatization Ministry.
“On the one hand, thanks to the rapid development of digital technology, the world has indeed begun to change very fast. We need to take full advantage of these processes. On the other hand, we have to remember and understand that the state has to be proactive in making decisions on the regulation of this sector. Today we will carefully consider this issue,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
According to the president, Belarus has necessary basic infrastructure, including a well-developed data transmission network, reliable data processing and storage centers and modern means of information security.
“The digital sector should not only improve people's life but also increase their wellbeing through highly efficient production. More attention should be paid to digitalization of the real economy and ensuring competitiveness of enterprises,” the Belarusian leader said.
He asked to report on how implementation of the proposed decree would contribute to qualitative changes in the life of citizens and development of the country.
On responsibility of homeowners' associations
The head of state also mentioned the need to strengthen the responsibility of homeowners' associations. “We all saw what damage was done to buildings, structures and public property as a result of the so-called protests. Thank God they have not burned the capital down, as was the case with Kazakhstan's financial capital. In the overwhelming majority of cases, this happened because of a policy of connivance and sometimes at the initiative of the heads of homeowners' associations. Huge sums of money were spent to eliminate the consequences and restore order,” the president said.
"I gave instructions to toughen the responsibility of the chairmen of the boards of homeowners' associations and other organizations for failure to ensure the safety, proper operation and maintenance of common property. We all remember what position they held," the head of state recalled.
The experience of Kazakhstan, according to him, allows Belarus to draw conclusions and act just as tough to prevent such cases.
On financial consulting
One of the issues on the agenda of the meeting was the draft decree "On financial consulting of individuals".
“The financial market is following the modern economic trends. Therefore, the population has certain problems as the average level of people's financial literacy does not always keep pace with the developments," the head of state explained. According to him, most citizens, in one way or another, face the issues choosing a financial institution, investment or credit products.
"In this case, the task of the state is to form an effective institution of professional assistance to people who need qualified support to manage their finances," Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.
When discussing this issue, the president suggested introducing the innovations “that are needed by society."