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Lukashenko wants maximum efficiency from upgraded companies

SHKLOV, 12 December (BelTA) – During a working trip to Mogilev Oblast Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that upgraded and new companies that received huge government investments should do without subsidies and generate budget revenues, BelTA has learnt.

“I want to set a tough task for the company. I want it to pay taxes, pay back the loan and operate as it should. What is the point of subsidizing the company that is supposed to generate budget revenues,” the head of state said.

When Alexander Lukashenko arrived at the Spartak paper mill in Shklov, he wanted to know how the instructions on the company’s upgrade he gave several yeas ago were fulfilled. The President emphasized that Belarus has enough wood that is the raw material for the paper industry; however, the country had to buy paper abroad. Director of the company Sergei Shumsky told the head of state that all the tasks were accomplished, the company is making profits and next year it plans to reach its designed capacity, while the profitability will make 25-27%. “It is important for the staff,” he said. “It is important not only for the staff, but for the country in general,” Alexander Lukashenko noted pointing to the strategic significance of the paper industry in Belarus.

The upgrade and renovation cost the company Br338.2 billion in current prices. Of them, Br185.2 billion was spent on equipment and Br153 billion on construction and installation works. The bulk of money came in the form of budget loans. When the company reaches its designed capacity in 2012, the output is expected to grow 5.5 times in comparable prices. The output growth, in turn, will allow raising salaries that are expected to make Br3.5-4 million next year. In January-September this year, the average salary in the company exceeded Br1.7 million.

During the conversation, the parties also touched upon the issue of raw materials for the factory, including waste paper. The head of state instructed the Government to create an effective system to collect and process recyclable materials. In addition, to produce sanitary-hygienic paper the enterprise needs bleached cellulose, which is not yet made in Belarus but is imported. Alexander Lukashenko ordered to implement a project to build a new bleached cellulose facility at Svetlogorsk pulp and paperboard mill by 2014.

During his visit to the factory, the head of state was reported on the performance of another Shklov facility, namely the newsprint plant. According to its Director Anatoly Khmelevsky, currently the plant satisfies 100% of the country’s needs in newsprint and supplies this product abroad. In the future, the company plans to build another shop for the manufacture of paper base for decorative facing materials. Currently there are two foreign companies that are ready to implement the project. "Please, decide on the company, make suggestions but do not delay the project,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

Speaking about the two companies, the President stressed: "We have invested enormous resources in them, and they must pay off not in 14 or 15 years but in 10. We should not give privileges at the expense of the state. We have invested very much here.”

Alexander Lukashenko was given a tour of the production area of the company, its workshops to see the technological process of production of paper and products made of it using the latest technologies. “Every square meter should be used most efficiently. We need to manufacture products with higher value added. We cannot sell intermediate products,” the President said noting that big open space will allow expanding the company’s product line. The Belarusian leader instructed his aide in Mogilev Oblast Gennady Lavrenkov to monitor the issue.

The head of state also saw a display of the factory’s products.

Alexander Lukashenko was left satisfied with his visit to the company. He ordered to apply this approach to other national companies which need modernization and renovation.