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President Lukashenko reviews decrees on handicraft activities improvement, agroecotourism development in Belarus

President Lukashenko supported the idea to grant agroecotourism farms rights to provide additional services. On September 19, Alexander Lukashenko considered the draft decrees on improving handicraft activities and developing agroecotourism in Belarus.

These and other documents are included in the package of bills prepared upon the President’s order on the emancipation of business initiative. Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that the documents must be effective and the norms indicated in them must show result. Moving the barriers will give business more freedom, however, responsibility stays outside business circles.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We actually remove all the barriers, those that are present in the world. Not barriers, but tough requirements. We are lifting them. On the other hand, I demanded this, businessmen must carry the severest responsibility, and managers of companies must be responsible for the result, for what is happening in their companies. If people die at your plant, then you will go to prison. How else? Here is your freedom and responsibility. No. By the way, businessmen (I have already met and talked with many of them) understand this in an absolutely correct way. Moreover, many warn me: "Look, do not weaken the control over us." I tell them: "You are businessmen, after all! How can you say such things?" As I said, if you do not want to lose control in the economy and, literally, say, create a chaos in the country, there must be some control. I am against excessive control. We must leave the control functions that are necessary for the state.

Vladimir Zinovsky, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus:
In accordance with your instructions, the Ministry of Economy has worked out all the draft decrees and the decree on business development which will be further submitted to you. And today, we present three decrees of the President on improving handicraft activities, on agroecotourism and on the Council for the Development of Entrepreneurship.

The Council for the Development of Entrepreneurship will get additional powers in regulating economic relations. The agency will be able to make suggestion on improving law to the Ministry of Economy and the Council of Minister directly.

On September 19, the initiative of the National Center of Legislation to ensure a balance in imposing penalties on enterprises or entrepreneurs was considered as well. The essence of the document is to exclude all cases when the imposed fines are not proportional to the economic damage caused.

Vadim Ipatov, director of the National Centre of Legislation and Legal Research of the Republic of Belarus:
As for confiscation, we are not removing the norms blindfolded. We are saying that the norm is used by the court-either alternative norm or (in certain cases, when confiscation was envisaged) a penalty is imposed-a fine, for instance, of 50% from the cost of this property. In this case we need the administrative responsibility to be inexorable and significant. It should be economically unprofitable to commit administrative crimes. However, at the same time it shouldn’t affect the business facility, that it practically goes bankrupt.

The considered documents will be amended before October. It is expected that the liberalization of law in the sector of business initiative will contribute to the role of small and medium businesses in the formation of Belarus’ GDP up to 40%. At the moment it is about 28%.

President Lukashenko reviews decrees on handicraft activities improvement, agroecotourism development in Belarus