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20 October 2022, 13:27

Lukashenko: Prices should be based on fairness first and foremost

MINSK, 20 October (BelTA) – Prices should be fair first and foremost and it is necessary to work on prime costs of goods. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during a government conference held in the Palace of Independence, BelTA has learned.

“The concept of price control and regulation (regulation if it is possible and necessary) should be based on… What, Nikolai Gennadyevich?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov.

“Prime cost,” the official responded.

“It should be based on fairness instead of prime cost! I spent half a day yesterday trying to get you to understand it, you told me right away: fairness. But today you say prime cost,” Aleksandr Lukashenko was indignant.

“I am already in economy…” Nikolai Snopkov tried to make an excuse.

The president went on saying: “Of course. But economy has no truck with fairness. I said it yesterday that there is no such category. But fairness should always be present in people's lives and heads. And the prime cost… You are right when you say it is necessary to reduce prime costs in order to be richer. But it has to be fair. You cannot change my mind.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded about salaries in the trade industry: some owners of companies earn about $90,000-100,000 every month while staying in Italy. At the same time cashiers and shop assistants earn 270 times less than that. “What persuasion and conversations are you talking about? Where is justice? Why does this gap exist?” he wondered.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that salaries of directors of state-run enterprises are limited: they cannot be more than six times as much as the average salary at the enterprise.

“Six times as much as the average salary seems okay. But here the difference is 200 times!” he pointed out.

“They were getting bonuses depending on profits instead of salaries,” Nikolai Snopkov explained.

The president explained how salaries were paid when he ran an agricultural enterprise back in the days of the Soviet Union: his name was on the payroll and everyone could see how much the head of the enterprise was earning. “Are directors poor these days? They live just as well. At state-run enterprises. And you see what is going on at private enterprises. This is why fairness should be the foundation. If you and oblast governors decide that prices need to be raised, even by 10 times in order to keep the goods in stock in shops, feel free to do it. But I will know that Snopkov and the governor are responsible for it. Today we don't control this process at all. Bunch of people go [to stores to check whether prices have been raised in violation of the president's instructions]: members of the parliament, trade unions, the State Control Committee. There is no need for crowds. It is necessary to work out a system,” the head of state demanded. “If some price needs to be raised, it can be raised as an exception.”

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