Is it possible to make the average salary reach $500 in Belarus? How soon? And by means of what resources? Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko gave simple and clear answers.
Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus:
The only way to increase salaries and pensions in Belarus is to produce more high-quality goods in the real sector and sell them at a higher price. It is the only formula. I can’t come up with something new. It is the way our life develops and will develop. We may borrow money from somebody, take it or even take away, but it's not our way. We do have an opportunity to borrow, but we mustn’t, because we have a rather big state and corporate debt. The money must be returned. Therefore, we’d better not hope that our future borrowings will help us to raise salaries and pensions – it won’t be this way. Only through economic efficiency is it possible to increase the salaries and pensions. Our economy is open, around 50%, to be more precise, 45% of goods produced are sold abroad. And this is our whole life.
And we must spend all the raised funds on something that will contribute to further production - on energy resources, raw materials and so on. Everything that we lack, but the economy can’t operate without. If we don’t buy it, then tomorrow, salaries won’t reach the level of $500. Productivity must not be lower than salaries. Productivity must relate to the salaries earned. I’m not the one who came up with this idea.
You might think that there are some disagreements: the President said about $500 in the coming year. Some people said they would be happy if salaries are $500 or even $1,000. Yes, we set this goal. What happened and why it happened, you know better than me.
The state must help Belarus citizens to earn
$500 average salary. This money is quite enough for a citizen to live in the socio-economic system we’ve made together.
Everything else is not forbidden, on the contrary, it is welcome. One thousand, two thousand. As much as you will earn. We live in the market economy, whether you like it or not. As for me, I don’t really like it. But when we conduct surveys among the population, almost two thirds stand for the market, the market economy and freedom. So, you got the market economy and freedom. Let’s earn.
Some people say $500 is an unachievable goal. Even some members of the government say the same. No one saying this way will be left with a portfolio. I don’t want to voice any economic theories. Why do many people in Belarus drive luxury limousines, have an opportunity to rest in expensive resorts for half a year, support someone…you know who I am talking about, and, at the same time, they transfer money to offshores, while others hardly make ends meet? That's the whole social justice…
I’m not a diehard. You could blame me for it now. I declare it not from the perspective of populism, but from the point of view of justice. Today, the so-called Belarusian oligarchs have an opportunity to rest and drive smart cars only because ordinary people work for us. So let’s give these people at least $500, to speak frankly, using ordinary people’s language. That's the whole economic model. I’m guided by this very concern.
Photo: the Official Internet Portal of the President of the Republic of Belarus