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Minsk city administration criticized over red tape in investment projects

MINSK, 29 September (BelTA) – The performance of the Minsk City Executive Committee is dissatisfactory as far as the implementation of investment projects is concerned, said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the government session held on 29 September to discuss the implementation of investment projects in the Belarusian capital.

“Plainly speaking, I am not satisfied with the pace and the quality of the majority of the most important investment projects. Several projects are about to break deadlines,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko.

“I am concerned about the widespread red tape practices in the city administration. Why do I have to hear out complaints from investors that you haven’t done something on time or haven’t permitted something?” wondered the head of state. “You are mocking people!”

Alexander Lukashenko also reproached investors for demanding extra preferences, for reducing capital investments, delaying construction deadlines in the end. “Although foreign developers have been given land in the most prestigious parts of the city and have been granted considerable preferences, some of the foreign investors are too slow to honor their obligations,” remarked the President.

“But the city authorities and other agencies are a thorn in my side. Red tape practices, particularly the city hall, are widespread,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko. “Foreigners bring money and build premises. They are forced to wait for half a year. You make promises and fail to deliver. Do you do it to encourage them to grease your palm?” Alexander Lukashenko asked Minsk Mayor Nikolai Ladutko.

“Moscow produces 40% of Russia’s budget revenues. A country’s capital generates billions of dollars. Here we see only negotiations, talks, adjustments, permissions and mockery,” added the head of state.

The President said he had been inclined to fire everyone and recruit new people for every job in the city administration. He said that the present executives were totally inept for their jobs.

Alexander Lukashenko charged the Minsk Mayor with bringing things into order. “Straighten out your deputies. No more I-couldn't-care-less attitudes. You say one thing while your deputies, executives, the officials you employ, there are more than a hundred of them, do completely opposite things! I cannot let it continue like that,” stressed the head of state. “God forbid I hear more complaints. A new chairman of the city executive committee would be appointed then,” said the President of Belarus.

Alexander Lukashenko reproached the Head of the Belarus President Administration and the Interior Ministry for turning a blind eye to the situation.

“Red tape everywhere and delays. These days you must hug investors, kiss them, and hold their hands to keep them working in Minsk. They bring hard cash here!” said the head of state. According to Alexander Lukashenko, investors show a great interest not only in Belarus but primarily in Minsk. “Let invite these people to put money into Belarus,” concluded the President.