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19 Apr 2019

Lukashenko: Authorities should instantly respond to price rise

Lukashenko: Authorities should instantly respond to price rise

MINSK, 19 April (BelTA) – The central government and local authorities should immediately respond to the rise in prices, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during his Annual State of the Nation Address on 19 April, BelTA has learned.

“If prices go up, the government and local authorities should respond to it right away. I don’t mean to say that we should push prices down to the extent when manufacturers and sellers will quit this business and allegedly leave it to die and to incur losses,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Don’t even think of meddling in something and regulating prices, because this will result in product shortages. Such times are gone,” the head of state said.

The president ordered to scrutinize each and every group of products, to come to grips with the pricing process at all the stages and to find out what caused a price hike.

The mid-term perspective has been set: to keep inflation below 5%. “It is a general figure. Personal perception can be different. It is not a generalized market basket, but some 6-8 basic products and services of daily use that really have an impact on a person’s perception of prices,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. Among such basic products are foodstuffs. The president noted that Belarus’ export of agricultural products exceeded $5 billion. “Why cannot we satisfy our own demand for these products at reasonable prices? One of the reasons is getting carried away with the market economy and democracy,” the president noted.

The head of state drew attention of the government, the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade, as well as trade unions, that there should not be any complaints of price gouging across the most important goods and services. After all, this is very sensitive for low-income households and pensioners. “Prices should be affordable,” he underlined.

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