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Opinions & Interviews

13 Aug 2018

Belarus president draws attention to jobs as primary concern

Belarus president draws attention to jobs as primary concern

ORSHA, 13 August (BelTA) – The beautification of populated localities is half the battle. Giving jobs to their residents is what matters. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko pointed it out during his working trip to Orsha District on 13 August, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko asked Vitebsk Oblast Governor Nikolai Sherstnev about plans to develop the production sector. “If we repair the streets and take care of beautification the way it has been done in Kopys, we will be half way there. Giving people jobs, keeping them employed, and getting them to stay in these beautiful places is what matters,” stressed the Belarusian leader.

The governor informed the head of state about the distribution of productive forces, the structure and development of industries in Vitebsk Oblast. It was noted that due to objective and subjective reasons the region’s population had dropped over the years, respectively the number of working Belarusians had dropped. This is why development efforts will focus on the districts with the bulk of the workforce, including Orsha District.

Nikolai Sherstnev said: “Today the development of Orsha District is the most topical question not only from the point of view of employment, but the budget revenues, too. If Orsha District recovers enough to stop taking subsidies – Orsha District takes as much in subsidies as ten other districts – we will have money for the development of other regions.”

A special program has been developed in Vitebsk Oblast. It provides for implementing investment projects in every district to the total tune of about Br6.5 billion. The oblast governor assured that these are not just plans, work has already begun on several investment projects. “There are about 21,000 people in Vitebsk Oblast, who are not part of the economy. We can find jobs for roughly half of them – 10,000 – as we implement these projects. We’ve selected our economic growth centers,” said Nikolai Sherstnev.

In his words, plans have been made to develop tourism industry, set up new enterprises and manufacturing facilities, develop the processing of locally available raw materials, timber harvesting and processing, and build transportation and logistics hubs. Additional attractive conditions will be enabled to encourage young Belarusians to stay in small populated localities and district capitals.

Speaking about employment, Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to the need to see the real situation, including the employment situation, instead of relying only on registered unemployment figures. The head of state said he wanted municipal authorities to resolve problems instead of hushing them up. “And if we count the people, who are registered as employed yet they don’t work to the best of their ability. If we look at the real unemployment situation…” he noted.

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