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Lukashenko: People should benefit from economic growth

MINSK (BelTA) – Economic growth should improve people's quality of life, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he chaired the governmental meeting on 19 September to discuss economic performance in 2019, the results of the year and the five-year period, draft forecasts, budget and main monetary guidelines for 2020, BelTA has learned.

“It's not just about the indexes, which we will certainly discuss today. People should feel the positive results. The economy should continuously improve well-being and quality of life of people,” the president said.

Without economic growth this cannot be achieved, he said. “I am concerned that it is not only modest but also extremely unstable. This trend needs to be reversed,” the head of state said.

The president asked the participants of the meeting about what had been done and what needs to be done to keep economy strong and cancel out any factors that may lead to economic disproportions.

“We cannot be passive onlookers and feel complacent about the balanced state. People who demonstrate their trust, including during various political campaigns, do not vote for this,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president asked speakers to focus on the ways to fulfill all the promises given to people, from decisions by local executive bodies to goals and tasks of the five-year period.

Prime Minister Sergei Rumas reported that four out of seven forecast indicators approved for 2019 are being fulfilled. Targets for exports, labor productivity and gross domestic product have not yet been met. “By region, only Minsk Oblast is within the GDP growth forecast,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reiterated that vice premiers are personally responsible for the export of goods and services. Moreover, such matters are also the area of responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has a wide network of diplomatic representations abroad. The president demanded reports on every shortcoming.

“Ministers should answer for technology. Governors, chairpersons of district executive committees, farm managers should keep under control sowing, harvesting campaigns and so on. Vice ministers deal with the key issue, i.e. the export of products,” the president said.

At the start of the meeting the head of state invited every participant to speak on problematic issues. All the raised topics were discussed in detail.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also focused on the salary level for public sector workers. The prime minister reported on the recent efforts made to raise the salary in the public sector to meet the level of at least 80% of the average salary across the country. The president reminded the participants of the meeting about the need to raise income for the lowly-paid staff.

Ways to attract investment were discussed at the meeting as well. The Belarusian leader stressed that investments should be effective and yield results.

Attention was also paid to enterprises operating in the real sector of economy. The matter, first of all, concerned the quality of work at the directorate level.

At the end of the conference Aleksandr Lukashenko ordered a revision of the package of the next year's forecast documents presented by the government. Now the government has to revise its approaches fast and submit the document for the president's reconsideration. This is a task not only for the government, but also for Chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich, who is in charge of the monitoring group, Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko, together with the current parliament, the President's Administration, the State Control Committee, the National Bank and local authorities. The revised draft documents should be agreed upon and approved by all the stakeholders before they reach the head of state.