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Key documents on business liberalization presented to Belarus President

Maximum self-regulation with minimal government intervention. Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Matyushevsky presented to Alexander Lukashenko two key documents that are designed to unleash the business initiative.

The first of them is the Decree on the Development of Entrepreneurship. In particular, it proposes to carry out economic activities on the basis of a notification principle. That is, it will be enough to apply to your local executive committee, to the "one window" service, and start working on the next day. Also, the head of state reviewed the draft decree aimed at improving the licensing procedure.

This document is called the key in the process of business liberalization. The President has repeatedly voiced his demands not to interfere with businessmen's work. In strategic terms, small and medium business should be the backbone of the state since it gives more jobs and taxes. The share of small and medium-sized businesses in developed countries exceeds 50%. And there are generally countries where it reaches 80%. The same is with employment.

In Belarus, the goal is to bring the share of medium and small businesses in the structure of the gross domestic product to 40% by 2020.

But for this, of course, the state needs to create appropriate conditions.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We agreed that at the level of the President we must approve the general requirements of fire safety, sanitary and epidemiological norms, environmental protection and so on. These requirements are extremely voluminous, unnecessary for the most part. They very much strain business and distract it from the solution of concrete problems.

Therefore, these documents outline a list of such requirements (medical, sanitary conditions and so on) and administrative obstacles are reduced. We want people to be able to open a business not in a year and a half, as it often happened, but literally right away or within a month. We don't need any bureaucratic delays in this.

The document presented today changes the very principle of relations between business and the state. Large-scale control is replaced by self-regulation. However, the combination must be optimal.

The requirements of fire safety, sanitary-epidemiological and in the field of environmental protection are systematized and reduced to the minimum.

Taxes and their rates are essentially "frozen" until 2020.

That is, in this matter the state guarantees stability and predictability. All sorts of administrative barriers, those related to obtaining certificates and other documentation, are now abolished.

With such limited interference of the state in business processes, responsibility for the work of the enterprise rests with its head.

Today, another important document was presented to the head of state. It deals with licenses.

There are currently 36 licensed activities in the country.

It should be noted that in recent years their number has decreased significantly. From 2010 to 2016 19 areas ceased to be licensed. Today, by decree "On licensing of certain types of activities" it is proposed to remove three more also cut 20 subspecies. All of them, in the opinion of developers, do not involve the risk of harm or damage.

Vasily Matyushevsky, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
The head of state asked the question: "Why can licenses be terminated only by a court decision?" And we paid a lot of attention to this. In general, our argument is as follows: all licensed businesses cease to exist in the event of termination of their license, so this is a very sensitive issue. There should still be adversarial proceedings, when the licensing authority must prove in court that there are some significant factors that require license revocation.

Of course, some licensed activities will remain. But now the permission will be only in electronic form. From July 1, 2018, there will be a single license register in Belarus on the Internet. Thus, the preparation of the announced package of documents on the liberalization of business is essentially complete. In the near future, the head of state will receive another document outlining approaches to the digitalization of the Belarusian economy.

Key documents on business liberalization presented to Belarus President