Belarus' President: The government is hesitant in taking action against counterfeit alcohol

Belarus' President: The government is hesitant in taking action against counterfeit alcohol

Illegal trafficking of alcohol, increasing imports and a reduction in domestic production. The Belarus President on August 20 criticized the hesitancy of the government in taking steps to protect the domestic market from low-quality alcohol products. On July 1, a special decree and the decree was adopted, which is designed to strengthen state regulation in this sphere.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
The task was to prevent the deliveries of defective products to the domestic market, to reduce the illegal circulation of alcoholic beverages. This means not only losses of the budget, but first and foremost a threat to the health and lives of people. However, we still see some negative trends. We register increased import of alcohol and more of it is involved in illegal. Domestic production is decreasing at the same time. Unfortunately, the government is behaving extremely hesitant in taking measures to protect the domestic market. It's no good. Therefore, I would like to hear from the speakers clear answers. Firstly, what prevents you from protecting your own market? We are poisoning our people with that counterfeiting! Secondly, our production capacities in terms of alcohol twice exceed our domestic needs. Why is the export falling then? Third, what measures are taken for the promotion of Belarusian products in the trading network at home and abroad?

Recent trends indicate that the sale of alcohol in official trade chains have declined, but the demand remains stable. The share of counterfeit goods is growing in the black market. These illegal products are supplied mostly from Russia.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Private structures, thanks to their agility and I don't know what are other factors (you tell me) have taken 35% of the market, and we see unfair competition from them, including with the help of retail chains. Dictatorship of chains is unacceptable. It is already at an unacceptable level. Payments to suppliers of liqueurs and spirits are untimely. As I said, state-owned enterprises remain on the sidelines. State-owned enterprises are required to provide discounts for the sales of alcohol, sometimes up to 40% of the cost. And, as I said, there are strange bonuses for retail chains, of course, at the cost of the manufacturer. Counterfeiting from the Russian Federation and other countries is crushing the country. We are killing our own people! Experts propose to introduce harsh responsibility for the supply of counterfeit products to Belarus, including the confiscation of vehicles carrying these counterfeit products.

The head of state demands that in the coming months, problems with export and receivables from companies that produce alcoholic beverages be dealt with.

The President called on the government to use more rigorous approach to network owners. The industry must not operate under the dictate of commercial networks. Rather, trends should be set by manufacturers.