MINSK, 22 July (BelTA) – It is necessary to set to rights the activities of individual entrepreneurs and the self-employed, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting with senior members of the Council of Ministers on 22 July, BelTA has learned.
The participants of the meeting discussed government proposals on the regulation of basic forms of entrepreneurial activity - individual entrepreneurs and self-employed business people. The president emphasized that he had repeatedly urged to sort things out in this field. First of all, it is necessary to clearly define who are individual entrepreneurs, what they will do, what taxes they will pay. The head of state criticized the current state of things in this field: “We will soon have 12 million individual entrepreneurs! Our entire population is smaller! We have created a huge offshore company where people do not pay anything but are treated by the law as individual entrepreneurs - from journalists (a great number of examples) to officials.”
In addition, the president recalled his demand to come to grips with envelope salaries. “The system should work in such a way as to make envelop salaries impossible. I know that you are actively working on it, but I want business people, entrepreneurs to hear me: there'll be hell to pay, so you should not take offense. Tax evasion and shadow turnover in trade and services are unacceptable,” the Belarusian leader noted.
At the same time, tax breaks are also possible for certain groups of the self-employed, the head of state believes. “One should not stifle people's entrepreneurial spirit. People want to work, earn money. A talented person paints pictures, weaves baskets or does what only a few do in our country - such people should always be supported, including through tax breaks, so that they could pay very low taxes and focus on their crafts,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state instructed the government to think everything through once again together with MPs, relevant ministries and local authorities. “This topic should be approached with utmost responsibility, all the risks must be analyzed, including risks for employment, budget revenues and regional development. If the legislation has to be overhauled, we need to outline the stages of this process,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.