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Belarus President wants private business to build more homes

MINSK, 29 November (BelTA) – It is necessary to get the private business more involved in home construction. The opinion was voiced by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the government session held on 29 November to discuss the development of home construction in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

“To be frank, due to objective reasons the state can no longer finance home construction as much as it used to. It is necessary to seek alternative sources, get the private business more involved. Private business representatives are present here. By the way, they have undertaken certain obligations and I would like to hear about their fulfillment from them and the Minsk mayor,” said the President.

Opening the government session, Alexander Lukashenko said participants of the session will have to discuss the performance of the civil engineering industry as a whole and the construction in Minsk in particular. Among other things plans to develop the Zeleny Bor residential area of Minsk will be discussed. “A draft decree has been submitted. We have to look at it closely. Following the established practice we make similar important state decisions together,” said the Belarusian leader.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, the construction of the new residential area is not a local matter, it is of state importance. First of all, ways to go about home construction as a social and economic priority are discussed. Second, Minsk is at the forefront of home construction in Belarus. “Present-day housing problems are most vividly revealed here. We cannot forget that people on the housing register in Minsk constitute one third of the total number of people in need of better homes in the country. Providing people with affordable and quality homes as well as the strategy of town planning will depend on how much our steps are verified and rational,” remarked the head of state.

The President pointed out several problems in Minsk’s development that had become aggravated. Failures to hit housing construction targets are one of them. “It is generally recognized that in present conditions people on the housing register have to wait for homes for more than 20 years. If the pace of housing construction is not increased, the term will be even longer,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko.

“Unfortunately, violations of standard construction time frames are now widespread,” continued Alexander Lukashenko. “Since the beginning of the year the number of delayed construction projects has doubled. It is admissible neither in Minsk nor in other regions”.

The poor quality of homes is another problem mentioned by the President. “The number of complaints filed by citizens is huge. You will be made answerable for it all the way”. Besides, problems arise in the financing and timely construction of the engineering and transport infrastructure in residential areas.

The head of state pointed out the lack of spare territories within the city limits. “I would like to state right away that it is not possible and is not advisable to build homes for all the Minskers within the city limits. By the way, we build homes in the city not only for Minskers. We still continue using any means and ways to persistently bring people from all over the country to the center. You know my decisions in this regard. I’d like them fulfilled,” urged Alexander Lukashenko. “The density of the population in Minsk exceeds that of European capitals like Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Prague, and Stockholm by 1.5-3 times. Therefore, finding other ways to develop the city would be more optimal”. “We have included some lands of Minsk District into the city limits like it has been done with regard to Zeleny Bor. But this approach has inherent limitations. We cannot use farming lands for home construction,” noted the President.

The head of state believes that in the future the construction of homes, the infrastructure, social and industrial facilities in satellite towns should be the way to go. “The relevant decision has been made but I still don’t see results,” he said.

Alexander Lukashenko urged the Minsk City Executive Committee to report about the implementation of the housing construction program as well as the development of the Zeleny Bor area. “I’d like to know what has been done already, what steps the city administration takes, what the government can do to help the city,” said the head of state. The government is expected to report about the financing of the construction of transport and engineering facilities at the expense of the central state budget. Private business representatives will state what they think about working in the civil engineering industry and how the obligations they have undertaken are being fulfilled.