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Lukashenko wants sanctions for investors failing to honor commitments

MINSK (BelTA) – Investors who fail to honor their commitments should face tough sanctions, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he studied the development plan of the area adjoining Minsk on 24 May, BelTA has learned.

“I want to warn: if an investor makes a commitment, he/she should honor it. If not, tough sanctions should follow. How are you dealing with it now? If something goes wrong, you go to the president and suggest restructuring. Enough with restructuring. If you fail, be ready to bear responsibility,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president underlined that the construction and landscaping period should not exceed three years. “This pertains to housing and other facilities we build. An investor takes a land plot in a decent village or a street and embarks on a construction project that drags on for five-seven years. Cars go there raising dust, people get bogged in mud. This is not okay. If you want to build a house or a facility, go ahead, take a land plot, get everything ready for the construction project (first of all, financially), finish the project and do the landscaping within three years at the most. You do not have to finish the interior design, it is up to you. Most importantly, it should look good from outside and it should not cause inconveniences to people,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Sort things out in Minsk and the regions. Anfimov [Chairman of the State Control Committee Leonid Anfimov] should scrutinize some of the never-ending construction projects and teach someone a lesson or tell them what to do. If they embark on a project and then change their mind, their land plots should be seized to discourage others from acting the same way. Land plots should not be traded. If you give a land plot to someone, he/she should not resell it and make money on that. This should not happen. If you receive a land plot, go ahead and build something there; if you change your mind, give the land plot back and bear the responsibility for failing to do what you were supposed to do on this land plot. We need to come to grips with this situation,” the president underlined.

The regional and municipal authorities informed Aleksandr Lukashenko about development of the areas adjoining the Minsk Ring Road, construction of new facilities and new investment projects. They pointed to a number of violations on the part of investors. For example, they fail to meet deadlines or suspend construction projects. “The decision to seize land plots spurred them on. We gave them a push and got things going,” Minsk Oblast Governor Anatoly Isachenko noted. He told the head of state about the land plots available in the region and projects that could be implemented there.

Minsk has the same issues. There are 55 construction sites there. Since 2014, ten facilities have been built there; another 14 are under construction and 11 are on the design stage. The remaining projects need restructuring, including on the part of the municipal authorities. “It means it is your fault that you made plans but failed to do anything there, and now you suggest doing everything anew. This is not the way,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.