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10 March 2023, 18:04

Lukashenko: Price controls in Belarus are nothing like the Soviet Union's planned economy

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 10 March (BelTA) – Price controls in Belarus do not go as far as the planned economy of the Soviet Union did. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement at a session of the Council of Ministers on 10 March, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “As for price controls. We should not issue orders. We've made the first step, knocked [those responsible for pricing] on the head to make them understand that fair prices are the government policy. And later on they should follow the rules you have worked out and set prices on their own. We will not regulate prices for them. There is no planned economy like the Soviet Union's.”

The president pointed out that it is necessary to assign a certain threshold, find an optimal option to prevent inflated prices, on the one hand, and to prevent product shortages, on the other hand. “You have to see a clear forecast. If you can't, then we will wait after the fact,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes it is correct to allow manufacturers and retailers to set prices on their own. But a threshold specified by rules of the state regulator has to be part of the arrangement. “This is why we have to move towards it. Otherwise, they will complain about price restrictions. We cannot calculate everyone's prime costs after all. As economists we understand that we cannot calculate everything. This is why we need some procedure to make them understand,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that while talking about pricing practices he had vigorously requested to set things in order, including by means of criminal prosecution. He also remarked that he is averse to social injustice and extremely high revenues in retail industry where monthly salaries can go as high as tens of thousands of U.S. dollars. “Is that normal? Are their jobs easier than the government's? No. The government jobs are seven times more complicated. But your salaries are ten times smaller. Or more than ten times. Is that justice? And people can see that. And they think that the president should do something about it.”

“This is why we cannot retreat. But we have to work out normal methods, which will work,” he concluded.

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