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GDP should grow 5-5.5% in 2012, Lukashenko says

MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) – The GDP growth in Belarus should make 105-105.5% in 2012, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at a session on 22 November to discuss socioeconomic targets, budget and monetary policy for 2012, BelTA learnt from the presidential press service.

The President said that the Prime Minister presented draft documents with GDP growth targets of 105-105.5%. These documents will be taken as the basis.

“Refine the documents. Fine-tune them, make them right. GDP should grow by 5-5.5%. The Prime Ministers knows my demands, so start calculating things. If someone is not able and willing, that is ok with us; we will find another job for you. After I put my signature on this document, everyone is running and saying that this is feasible, this is good, go ahead, mobilization. Not some idle talk in mass media. Lord forbid, they report the opposite,” the head of state said.

“We cannot aim for half a percent tomorrow. We cannot! The economy will generate a different effect. Are we supposed to restrain the economy,” the President asked.

Alexander Lukashenko touched upon import substitution. He emphasized the need to significantly increase the share of domestic components in the final product.

The head of state demanded that next year “everyone should work hard”.

“Everyone should work hard, not just try to make their life more comfortable. It is not a big problem if we have to sacrifice our profits and profitability. But we should not work at a loss. We cannot strain our people to the limit. It turns out a dairywoman milks a cow, sells milk, comes to a store and sees that she does not have enough money for even a liter of milk. What is their pricing strategy? Some supply stuff, others process it, then some sell it to wholesale traders or their companies – by the time products hit store shelves, they are five times more expensive! It is absolutely unacceptable!” the President said.

“We are not pressurizing business. But one should keep in mind that if things are tough, they are tough for everyone, if things are good, everyone is good,” he noted.

Alexander Lukashenko demanded that the final documents should be submitted to him for signing in mid December.