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21 Dec 2017

Belarus president refuses unjustified bailouts to industrial sector

Belarus president refuses unjustified bailouts to industrial sectorMINSK, 21 December (BelTA) – The industrial sector should not hold any unjustified hope for a new helping of state support. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement during the government conference held on 21 December to discuss several draft regulatory acts, BelTA has learned.

A number of draft regulatory acts on developing certain industrial enterprises were discussed during the meeting. There are tentative plans to give a number of industrial enterprises some leeway on returning loans to the state budget, on returning commercial loans, and adjusting installment plans. Alexander Lukashenko said: “I would like to look into the eyes of those members of the government, who suggest we should once again use the state budget to support someone. We’ve already talked about it. After a harsh talk the Belarus President Administration submitted proposals, including on adjusting the personnel numbers. The proposals will be supported.”

During the government conference the head of state underlined that no one will be allowed to freely spend state budget funds. He wondered about the performance of the enterprises, their profitability, profits, dynamics, projects, and available contracts.

Concrete decisions were made as a result of the discussion. A number of enterprises may now count on assistance with replenishing their floating assets, but only in exchange for promising contracts and on tougher terms than those initially drafted. The enterprises will have to put together a clear-cut schedule for repaying their debt commitments.

Belarus president refuses unjustified bailouts to industrial sectorAfter the government conference Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko told media that the year 2017 was rather successful for the Belarusian industrial sector. “One can say today that we will truly end it with 106-106.3%. It is quite a high growth rate. One can state that thanks to results secured in 2016-2017 we’ve reached the trajectory set by the five-year plan. We hope and are absolutely convinced that all the goals set by the president, the government, the people of Belarus for the five-year term will be fulfilled,” he noted.

Vladimir Semashko explained that the international market is experiencing a revival, however, a number of industrial enterprises could use more floating assets in order to satisfy the market’s demand. “We have more orders than we can fulfill. The lack of floating assets is the main problem. Due to many reasons,” added the official.

In his words, the industrial enterprises can operate without an infusion of floating assets, but they will demonstrate minimal growth then. One has to consider strategy and tactics, consider whether it is more profitable to repay debts and show lower growth or ease up regulations and secure larger growth. “In essence, we would like to restructure the money borrowed from the state budget and Belarusian commercial state-run banks a bit so that our enterprises could satisfy the market demand,” said the deputy prime minister.

He underlined the correctness of the decisions made earlier on modernizing enterprises in a number of industries. These decisions helped keep the enterprises running, helped preserve jobs, and secure new quality of products.

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