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19 January 2021, 14:44

People's interests at heart of Belarus' social, economic development

Irina Kostevich
Irina Kostevich

MINSK, 19 January (BelTA) – Strengthening the institution of the family, employment promotion, fair pay, and active longevity are in focus of the Belarusian social and economic development for the next five-year period, Belarus Labor and Social Security Minister Irina Kostevich told journalists at the presentation of Belarus' social and economic development program for 2021-2025 on 19 January, BelTA has learned.

“The focus is on people and their living standards,” Irina Kostevich noted. “We have outlined the main targets. They include increasing the demographic potential, employment promotion, sustainable income growth, active longevity, and taking care of the elderly. The priority is given to a happy family,” she added.

Irina Kostevich also spoke about the birth rate. The number of first and second children is declining. However, more and more families give birth to the third and subsequent children thanks to the family capital program. “This is why the key goals are to increase the birth rate and the number of large families, and to strengthen the institution of the traditional family,” she said.

“The goal of this five-year period is to introduce additional incentives for people to have second and subsequent children,” she stressed. Such incentives include helping families solve the housing issue, helping mothers reenter the workforce as competitive and sought-after workers, creating flexible jobs, and introducing the concept of family-friendly companies. “In order to help people keep the work-family balance, we need to develop early childhood services. They include not only state kindergartens, but also occasional care options, mini-kindergartens, and family day care. Nowadays, this market offers many opportunities,” Irina Kostevich said. She spoke in detail about responsible fatherhood promotion efforts and pointed out that steps have already been taken in this field, including in the labor legislation.

The labor policy will be centered around the detection principle, creation of flexible jobs, and improvement of the labor market forecasting system. The government will continue supporting target groups, including mothers returning to work after maternity leave and people with disabilities.

The real disposable money income of Belarusians (salaries, welfare benefits, pensions, scholarships) is expected to grow by at least 1.2 times in the new five-year period. “As for salaries, our task is to ensure that they increase on the heels of greater labor productivity. We will pay close attention to organizations of the public sector and, maybe, also the private sector, which reported the biggest gap between their workers' pay and the average salary in 2020,” Irina Kostevich noted.

The retirement pension system will develop in two directions: drawing up an effective multi-level pension system and making instruments of the financial market more attractive (financial literacy of citizens).

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