Big politics must not overshadow domestic issues... President Lukashenko understands this and every working visit to Belarusian regions is filled with economic issues and communication with people, in which not only global topics but also local issues are raised. The working trip of the head of state to the Gomel region was not an exception. Ekaterina Zhilyanina reports.
Basic woodworking enterprises - one of them is Rechitsadrev - were in very poor condition a few years ago. Profitability was negative - minus 30%. They did not have current assets at all. Nothing to buy raw materials for. Banks refused to lend to businesses with such debts. Some could not even pay electricity. In general, people were on the verge of not receiving salaries.
Ekaterina Zhilyanina, correspondent:
And then the decision was made to transfer basic woodworking enterprises to the management of the Development Bank. Corporate administration, planning, and settlements discipline. The management company had to improve the financial situation. Eight companies were merged into a holding company.
This is the President's working trip to the Gomel region. Alexander Lukashenko arrives in Rechytsa to get familiar with the current situation in the wood processing factory.
Today, the companies are increasing capacity - there are plans to increase woodworking by 20 million cubic meters per year. Resources, however, allow handling even 30-35m3. But for now the main task is to make the operation of the holding company in 2017 profitable.
Rechitsadrev is the best among these troubled enterprises. It plans to complete 2017 with a profitability of at least 4%.
Alexander Lukashenko talked about the modernization of the industry and the correctness of the relevant decision in a moment of crisis communicating with employees of the company. However, these topics were not the only ones discussed.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
By the end of the year, the average salary in your company should be not less than BYN1,000. And you will achieve it, because there is no alternative. And all the leaders from the bottom up promised it to me. BYN1,000.
I insist not because I fear those 15 people who took to the street to protest, but because BYN1,000 is the minimum that we need to help people earn.
And then they need to do all the rest themselves. Of course, we will push them, the top management and the government. However, we must return to this bar, we once had over $500. According to the present life, BYN1,000 is already something decent. You can have it all here.
The President, during the visit, asked not only about the state of affairs in the woodworking industry, but also in the whole region. And, of course, he inspected the progress of planting. Farmers do not experience problems. Equipment is ready to be used and seeds are in abundance. The President drew attention to the fuel issue.
I'm not going to explain to you what is savings and control over fuel consumption. Everything today is screaming that they are expensive in Belarus. Today we have gasoline and diesel fuel at a price that's lower than in Russia. Please be as economical as possible. We see that some steal, pour fuel from tanks and sell it on the roads. If we find it, the governor will be held accountable and everyone down the power vertical too. Put everything in order, be disciplined and you will save 25% of fuel.
The President noted the high farming culture. The Gomel region this year should be an example to other regions of Belarus in this respect.