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6 Dec 2016

Belarus president decree against freeloading in for amendments

Belarus president decree against freeloading in for amendmentsMINSK, 6 December (BelTA) – Belarus president decree No. 3 “On preventing social dependency” of 2 April 2015 will remain in effect but the detected drawbacks will be fixed. The relevant measures were discussed during the government conference held by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on 6 December, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that Belarusians had dubbed the document as a decree against freeloaders. “There may be something to it. We are not going to argue with the people,” he said. “The decree was meant to eradicate a most important problem — social dependency. We expected to resolve the problem by encouraging employable citizens, who can and should work, to embrace a legal working career and honor their constitutional requirement to participate in the financing of state expenses.”

Alexander Lukashenko reminded about his instruction to closely monitor the enforcement of the decree in practice and the processes in this sphere. “Proposals bordering on scrapping the decree altogether were made because the decree faced a lot of criticism, it was difficult to administrate and there were many other issues,” stated the President.

Belarus president decree against freeloading in for amendmentsThese matters were regularly discussed when Marianna Shchetkina delivered her reports to the head of state in the capacity of the Belarusian labor and social protection minister. “Back then I said that regardless of what was said about the decree it was necessary to live and work with it for some time in order to make additional decisions. It’s been more than a year since then. We can now see more or less clearly what the decree has produced, what positive sides the document has. Are there some shortcomings? Well, let’s fix them,” said the head of state.

The President underlined that he was most concerned not about the fact that the citizens the decree applies to get certain free services or preferences. “I am most of all concerned about the general public’s attitude to loiterers. People, who can work, who have no disabilities, whose capabilities are not limited, should work, earn his or her living and provide for their families in addition to benefiting the country by paying taxes,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

The head of state suggested finding out what problems had been unearthed in the course of implementing the decree. Alexander Lukashenko said he would like to know whether freeloading practices have been stopped and whether the mechanism has an effect on the people, who are unwilling to work or work off the books. The President also wondered how the decree is put into practice, whether the lists of those, who are supposed to pay this tax, are compiled in a quality and accurate manner. “I am told that notifications to pay the tax are often sent to the citizens, who are not supposed to pay it and should not have been requested to pay it by government agencies. Such people include university students, women on maternity leaves, and even active-service soldiers,” remarked the head of state.

“Some shortcomings are always bound to appear in this situation. It is most important for us to see these shortcomings and address them in time,” stressed the Belarusian leader.

Alexander Lukashenko also said he wanted to hear how the government had fulfilled his instruction to create a sufficient number of jobs for the unemployed. He was also interested in the unemployment levels in every region of the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Natalya Kochanova said that the government had monitored the decree’s implementation together with the Belarus President Administration. The results indicate that the decree was topical, necessary, and objective. The decree has a positive effect on employment figures and encourages able-bodied Belarusian to work legally.

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