Belarus to continue price control practices, Alexander Lukashenko says

Belarus to continue price control practices, Alexander Lukashenko says

The main task for 2017 is to bring the average salary to BYN1,000 but this money must be earned, not printed, said the Belarus President in his State of the Nation Address April 21.

Increased productivity is the basis of salary growth, emphasized the head of state.

This is a task for the Government. To solve it is necessary to work on many areas: from the introduction of IT at modern production facilities to training qualified personnel. According to Alexander Lukashenko, young people must not go to colleges and universities only based on Centralized Test or just at random. He noted that one needs to start acquiring skills in the profession already at school.

During the annual address to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly, Alexander Lukashenko touched upon the key issues of the country.

He outlined the concept of creating a more efficient economy, touched on the development of the IT sector and creation of innovative products with high added value. The President also mentioned the optimization among public servants.

The President paid particular attention to salaries, prices and tariffs for housing services. The state needs to very closely monitor these issues, said Mr Lukashenko.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
The basis of wage growth is increased productivity. It is an axiom. The task is complex. Here we need to further upgrade old and create new industries, introduce modern technologies and automate all industries. However, such large-scale developments cannot be achieved in one year. But we could get instant effect if we organize labor properly. This includes a set of measures, starting with layoffs of excessive employees where possible (in any case, people cannot be just thrown on the street - this question needs to be coordinated with the authorities; you need to offer such people a new job), compliance with labor and technological discipline and the creation of a system that would stimulate workers.

We need to stick to a clear system: produce - sell - earn. If there are no quality and marketable goods, there will be no salary.

The Government was tasked (and not just the Government) to ensure that this year the average salary in the country must be at least BYN1,000. Some decision-makers, in conversations, say this figure is unreal. I want to warn those who think so: if you can't achieve that, then change your job and find an easier one.

A few words about prices. In 2016, we could not prevent them from substantial growth. A similar situation is happening now. Price control will continue. We have created a special ministry of trade and antitrust regulation, which was charged with responsibility for monitoring consumer prices. But everyone must control prices to prevent them from unreasonable growth.

I am concerned with one fact: recently our Minister of Trade, who was set this clear task, decided to move away from it and said: "You know, we will not control prices. We will focus more on the development of competition."

I repeat to you publicly: don't be guided by any reforms or the IMF. Remember this. Monitor pricing, especially for those products that are subject to control.

The question that now concerns people the most is this utility tariffs.

We are forced to increase those tariffs: otherwise we will not be able to achieve real economic recovery. We have implemented non-cash housing subsidies. I instructed to re-examine how this system operates. If necessary, we will take additional measures. But I want to warn: the increase in tariffs can only be justified by the improvement of the quality of services and cost reduction. It must be in sync with the growth of salaries and incomes of people.

The President paid great attention to social policy. Human capital is the greatest value of Belarus.

In this regard, the President underlined the role of young people and their education. In 2017 alone, 80,000 of these young men and women will graduate from Belarusian universities. The head of state once again asked officials to notice and promote talented young people.

Much attention has been paid to the development of a healthy nation. In particular, Alexander Lukashenko set the task to solve the problem of young people's health in the coming years.