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Salaries, prices, food security, housing construction: what topics were discussed at the meeting with President

Prices, salaries, employment, export, food security, housing construction and even the issue of super-combines - these and other topics were discussed on August 22 in the Palace of Independence at a meeting of the Belarus President with the government.

The President and the government spoke about key positions: implementation of annual forecasts, control over pricing and labor market issues. The economy has grown, and six of the seven main indicators were met. By the end of 2017, the planned growth of people's real incomes should be exceeded.

The government sees a priority in preserving the growth of the economy. Since the beginning of the year the GDP has increased by 1.1%. Gold and foreign currency reserves have risen. Export is recovering and there are a number of such positive figures.

Construction of housing

The President reminded that behind the forest of statistics one must see people. There is no need for mere statistics. How will these concrete figures affect the lives of Belarusians? The construction of housing cannot be stopped.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
If someone in the government wants to curtail the construction of housing, I advise them to immediately go to one-room and two-room apartments or live with owners of those apartments together with your families so that you taste that kind of life.

For large families in 2017, it is already planned to build 6,600 apartments using concessional lending.

Andrei Kobyakov, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
We have traditional leaders in the field of housing construction - Belarusbank and [Bel]Agro[Prom]bank - they are ready to provide 0.25 billion rubles of credit resources in order to build housing with government support for those in need. We expect that this addition will allow us to build at least 500 square meters of housing with state support this year. For reference, we initially planned around 300. On the whole in the country we confirm that a minimum of 3.5 million square meters of housing will be built.

Employment

A year ago, the labor market tension coefficient was 1.6. Now it's 0.6 unemployed for one job opening. The number of offers on the labor market has doubled.

Alexander Lukashenko:
But layoffs still exceed the number of those hired. At least according to the information I have. What's the matter?

Even more uncertain is the situation with closing enterprises. Where do people go? On paper, new jobs seem to be created, but in fact I see a continuous fraud. If this is not the case, I would like to hear the answer to this question.

The situation on the labor market is stable. As many as 31,000 got new jobs.

On pricing and real incomes

The prime minister answered how the President's instructions on controlling prices in the country are being carried out. Inflation is lower than expected. But there are examples where the cost of individual goods (some medicines, for example) is exorbitant. The average salary in the country on August 23 was also discussed.

Andrei Kobyakov:
Real incomes of the population are improving - 99.2. And we assume that by the end of 2017 we will reach 102.7, as enterprises and industries have an opportunity to consider revising salaries upwards.

Dairy-commodity complexes

The financial performance of enterprises is improving. The main source of accelerating economic growth is the restoration of people's purchasing power, the growth of retail and agriculture. Dairy companies increased net profit by more than four times.

Alexander Lukashenko:
I have already said that this is our greatest achievement, that in due time we decided to save those dairy-commodity complexes. If that was not the case, there would be no agriculture today.

Milk today is cost-effective. In general, most of dairy-commodity complexes, which are modernized and rebuilt, today show the highest quality of dairy raw materials, from which we produce chic products, which are in demand all over the world today. We filled our market. This is our money, they are not loss-making. Therefore, it is time to finish this process.

About super combine harvesters

Alexander Lukashenko:
The combine that we tested recently in the Mogilev and Vitebsk regions is not bad. The combine is actually good: it harvests cleanly, it's not inferior to foreign analogues. It's good that the current designers of Gomselmash do not stop there. They say that there are areas where this harvester can be improved. Well, I'm waiting from Semashko to come up with a domestic engine for such combines. German and American engines are good, but we have our own engine plant. In general, the combine is not bad. Another direction in Gomselmash is to create a super combine that will surpass imported analogues. I'm not here to disclose all the secrets, but we do already have some ideas and concrete developments from designers.

Food safety

The President called the topic of food security the most important for today.

Alexander Lukashenko:
I closely monitor what is written about in various media. The mistake of journalists is that they write everywhere about a certain heroism in harvesting, including by the President. There is no heroism in harvesting. This is a simplified approach to what I and all the thousands of people do during harvesting. It is exclusively about the food security of our country.

Don't sneer when talking about harvesting. I know that our opposition does: the worse for the country, the better for them. They just look ridiculous in the eyes of people. Especially in the eyes of those people who toil during harvesting campaign today.

The issue is wider, it is a matter of food security. When people are fed, when everyone has, to put it simply, a piece of bread on the table every day, then there will be peace and order in the country.

Salaries, prices, food security, housing construction: what topics were discussed at the meeting with President