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Lukashenko: Any enterprise in Belarus can be privatized for the right price

MINSK, 30 March (BelTA) – Any enterprise in Belarus can be privatized for the right price, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko told a government session held on 30 March to discuss privatization matters.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed there will be no ubiquitous privatization. “If the state needs it, privatization will be pinpoint,” he said.

The head of state said: “Any enterprise can be privatized without exceptions. Why do we have to conceal things? Beltransgaz was a strategic enterprise. Its privatization was forbidden. Yet we privatized it. Why do we have to confuse things so that later we would have to pass a law to remove an enterprise from the list of enterprises, which privatization is forbidden and so on? We have to make it clear once and for all: no ubiquitous privatization, privatization is pinpoint, if the state needs it, and all Belarusian enterprises can be privatized for the right price”.

The President underlined that privatization in Belarus is not just a legal matter but something the Belarusian nation has suffered for. “This matter is in the center of all political events because privatization is a complicated thing. Simply speaking we are talking about the sale and purchase of the state property that has been created by many generations of our people,” said the head of state.

“We have always said we are not against privatization. But the country will not have landslide privatization. It is out of the question as long as I am the president. When I am not the president, it is up to you to sell enterprises, property, land or the country as a whole. Although if I am alive, I will always oppose the idea,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

The President believes the process of selling and buying property in the country is normal. According to the head of state, the existing privatization procedures are quite good. “What don’t you like? We have two levels of ownership: municipal property and national property,” Alexander Lukashenko told those present. “Why do we have to divide enterprises into the ones we don’t need and the ones we do? You know it would be unfair towards the population. All the enterprises where our people work are important for the country. Why do we need to divide them into strategic ones and non-strategic ones?”

Alexander Lukashenko admitted the existing privatization procedure is complicated and could do with less bureaucracy. “But we don’t sell something of ours. It wasn’t us who created it. Therefore, we have to bargain,” he said.

The President said he was concerned about reports from oblast governors regarding what privatization has produced. “Now the president has to axe these processes. Once our enterprises seemed to work well after privatization but now they are objects of scheming. Who will be responsible for it?” wondered the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko was also interested in results produced by offering shares of Belarusian enterprises for sale at the stock exchange. “Who bought them? What money was paid? Those, who bought the shares, did they start working better? What benefits our nation and the state have gained?” wondered the President.

In conclusion Alexander Lukashenko stressed: “Great Deng Xiaoping would say: whatever the cat may be, as long as it can catch mice, it is a good cat. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what form of ownership is used. It is important that an enterprise can manufacture good products, pay good salaries to workers without forgetting to pay taxes”.