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Belarus' President addresses nation: top social-economic issues raised

President Alexander Lukashenko on April 21 delivered the State of the Nation Address to the Belarusian people and the Belarus Parliament. The CTV offers you the main points relating to social and economic development of Belarus voiced by the President.

Belarus aims at Doing Business top 30

"The state shall protect and will protect the rights, property and dignity of all entrepreneurs who conduct their business honestly. But we expect a strict observance of laws, we expect you coming out of the shadows and start paying all the taxes you are required to," said Alexander Lukashenko. The President pointed out that the improvement of the business environment is an ongoing process. The positive results have confirmed and international experts. "The recent report by the World Banks "Doing Business 2016" places Belarus 63rd. Thus the country has moved 126 positions up over five years. But we're not resting on our laurels. The goal is to enter the top thirty countries in terms of doing business," stressed the head of state.

Government policy hinges around care of the person

"The planned measures should help overcome the negative trends and restore the dynamics of socio-economic development. This requires proactive and coordinated work on the overall result both by central authorities and local executives," noted Alexander Lukashenko. He noted that the government had adopted all systemic solutions. "At the heart of public policy lies care of the person, of the person's welfare and will to improve the quality of life. This is our guiding principle, our main path of development," said the head of state.

Belarus will not reduce pensions

"The main message: we do not intend to reduce pensions or increase taxes on businesses or social transfers of those who are now in working age," said the Belarusian leader. According to him, the improvement of the pension system is not only an increase in the retirement age.

The President noted that Belarusians are not forbidden to use cumulative pension system but the solidarity approach has allowed Belarus, unlike other neighboring countries, to preserve stability and social standards.

"We have kept this "bad" solidarity system. If we have normal conditions in the future, we will be more active. But people need to gradually get used to it (and you are proposing to make a shift to this system abruptly; these are old people! This will be a shock to them!) Such abruptness is absolutely unacceptable from the psychological point of view. We will move forward based on real processes in the economy and in the public mood, to avoid losses caused by inflation or other negative tendencies," concluded Alexander Lukashenko.

President Lukashenko orders to develop new payroll management standards in Belarus

"We need to ensure one thing: to provide the first job to graduates of educational institutions, guaranteed by the state. Young specialists (those who are given the first mandatory job placement after studying in universities for state funds - note by CTV.by) are the future of any business. But it is abnormal that young specialists and the teacher who has a 20-year length of service behind have a 5-time difference in salaries.  

"Do you want to say that a young specialist works that bad, that much worse than workers with 20-30 years of experience? Some young people come to work and give results that are significantly higher than those of adult staff. We use the wrong criteria: if you are young, you will get nothing. And when you become an older person, you will get something. It is not right. We must judge by how a person works, not by his or her age or status. Quality of work is the main criterion," said the President.

The main task in the demographic sphere is to create conditions for population growth

“A decade after the first state program to address demographic problems was adopted we got the result we sought: the so-called "demographic scissors" effect has almost disappeared! In 2015, the birth rate was almost on par with the level of mortality, with nearly 120,000 newborns. We have not seen such fertility for more than 20 years," noted the President.

Over 10 years, infant mortality in Belarus has decreased almost 3 times. According to this indicator, Belarus came to the forefront in the world. "This is our main asset, when a woman gives birth and is fully confident that the child will be healthy. And I am glad that the size of a Belarusian family is increasing: more than 56% of newborns are the second and subsequent children. This is a breakthrough," he added. 

According to the Alexander Lukashenko, demographic programs have proved their effectiveness and Belarus will continue to implement them in full. The country has already introduced such family support mechanism as maternity capital, as well as assistance in solving housing problems.

President instructs to immediately put into practice Academy of Sciences' breakthrough technologies

"We have always had a problem: you, scientists, invent something and then [Vice Premier Vladimir] Semashko and [industry minister Vitaly] Vovk do not want to take them. The question is solved simply: the head of the Academy of Sciences is responsible for everything. If it is determined that this technology is really a breakthrough and it is created, passed to the government, it must immediately be realized, without any arguments and disputes. If not, please put a report on the President's table," said Alexander Lukashenko. The National Academy of Sciences and the High Technology Park, according to the President, are the top places for the implementation of innovative strategies.

Culture should play a more active role in uniting people

Alexander Lukashenko reminded everyone that 2016 had been named the Year of Culture. "It is caused by the fact that culture, in the broadest sense, should play a more active role in rallying people around the creative purposes, instill high moral principles and good traditions. This should go in parallel with a continuous process of forming the hard-working, educated, spiritually rich and healthy nation," underscored the President. Emphasis will be placed on the artistic and creative sector.

According to the President, much attention should be paid to other areas: production and farming culture, way of life and human relations, development of towns and villages and of course careful preservation of historical heritage. "All this are the tasks of the Year of Culture," said Alexander Lukashenko.

Each ruble invested in cultural facilities should pay off

The President noted that the realization of the state program "Culture of Belarus" for 2016-2020 required significant funds from republican and local budgets. "The government and local authorities are obliged to remember that each ruble invested in the construction and reconstruction of culture facilities must pay off. The Nesvizh and Mir castles, the Great Patriotic War Museum are good examples. But what's next?" asked the Belarusian leader drawing attention to the need for systematic approaches in the field of culture.

Belarus' President addresses nation: top social-economic issues raised