MINSK, 8 October (BelTA) - Belkoopsoyuz's problems cannot be solved without assistance on the part of local authorities, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he took part in the general meeting of the Belarusian National Union of Consumer Societies Belkoopsoyuz in Minsk on 8 October, BelTA has learned.
"We will not be able to solve any of the problems that I have identified without efficient work with local authorities. Belkoopsoyuz is not like these corrupt huge retail chains with numerous outlets in Minsk. It carries a huge social burden,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Consumer cooperation is represented in each region of the country. Until the regional executive committees, the Minsk City Hall, the heads of the districts do not stop dismissing their issues, nothing will change. We should put an end to the policy of mythical free market, stagnation and observation from the outside.”
He noted that consumer cooperation asks for reasonable support when compared to that coming from the manufacturing industry. “So, we need to help, I do not mean gift anything,” the head of state emphasized. "We need to resolve their issues. Not to pour money on them but help with specific problems," the Belarusian leader said.
The president stressed that local authorities should not just be aware of the existing problems in the sector but be proactive and provide comprehensive assistance to all positive initiatives and ideas. They should lead, guide and, if necessary, force change. "Ensuing efficient work of consumer cooperation organizations in the regions is the number one task," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state suggested exploring the experience of Grodno Oblast which is implementing the project to set up a single regional cooperative organization. "But we must understand that every region has its specificities. Each of them has some good experience, their own opportunities and prominent sectors," the president said.
He also noted that consumer cooperation workers are true patriots and reliable people. "That's the main thing. We should respect our people, they are the pillar of our state. The quality of life of villagers, the elderly, pensioners depend on them in many ways. We are elected by them, and we must respond to their needs, to support them," the Belarusian leader stressed.