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President
16 February 2024, 12:37

Lukashenko orders to develop concept for providing services to rural dwellers

MINSK, 16 February (BelTA) – It is necessary to come up with a nationwide concept for providing services to the rural population, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the general meeting of the Belarusian national union of consumer societies Belkoopsoyuz on 16 February, BelTA has learned.

“The time has come to develop a nationwide concept for providing services to the rural population. People who work on the land should have everything they need,” the president said. “I want the government to put forward region-specific proposals for settlements with a population of up to 200 people. It is necessary to encourage all economic entities to provide services to rural dwellers, to offer incentives to them. And such a giant as Belkoopsoyuz will play a special role here,” the president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he received various proposals regarding trade in rural areas - from transferring loss-making stores to private owners and retail chains to reinstalling iron discipline in the Belkoopsoyuz system to keep it afloat. “If we shake it up, put spending to rights, change approaches to trade, improve management, we will succeed,” he said.

The president drew attention to the fact that consumer societies in rural areas cannot be replaced by any entrepreneurs. For example, it is unacceptable when a district capital has five shops in one place competing with each other, while no one wants to go to the village. “Or they choose the most lucrative routes, drive around a town, skim off the cream. Private businesses are not particularly willing to go to remote areas of a district, to communities having 10-20 residents, or they do it in the summer at best, when people flock there for holidays,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “Let’s do the following: we will make all decisions related to trade based on the interests of the population. The chair of a district executive committee will be a pointman. If a private business wants to have the same benefits and is ready for a fair competition, let him/her take responsibility for a designated area and take care of people’s needs in all parts of this area.”

The president recalled that in Russia consumer societies were destroyed, but later Russians came to their senses and are now looking for an opportunity to revive them. “So how is the situation now? Businesses are unable and unwilling to address issues there, it is not profitable, and this affects the lives of ordinary people. Therefore, every year I provide support to Belkoopsoyuz and try to shake it up in every possible way. But we must also look at the costs. Together with the local authorities, conduct an audit of your capabilities and draw up a business plan,” the Belarusian leader ordered.

He demanded that the government and the State Control Committee closely oversee the fulfilment of all the decisions made at the meeting.

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