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Belarus president, government discuss Belarus' economic development

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is listening to the report of the government, National Bank, oblast executive committees, and Minsk City Hall on Belarus' economic performance in 2017 and the efforts to ensure sustainable economic growth. The event is held at the Seat of Government on 2 March, BelTA informs.

“Five years have passed since our previous meeting in a similar format. Just like the last time, this meeting is held in the middle of the five-year period to coordinate efforts on time and, maybe, to revise certain objectives,” the head of state said at the beginning of the meeting.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that the 2017 statistics is known and all participants of the meeting are ready to report on the achievements in their sectors. “There are many talks on progress in the government. However, the main goal of the today's event is not to discuss current figures. Today we need to find out what stays behind the average figures, evaluate the qualitative side of these ‘achievements',” the president emphasized.

The head of state asked about the fulfillment of his instructions to improve the living standards of people. He also asked what the government, the National Bank, oblast executive committees and Minsk City Hall have in store to ensure the sustainable economic growth of Belarus with the pace higher than the global average.

“I want to understand if the achieved results are the beginning of positive trends or a temporary splash. What is behind the results – a cyclic revival, favorable external conditions or qualitatively new growth?” Alexander Lukashenko wondered.

The president stressed that, according to certain officials, a miracle has not happened yet. Higher oil prices and the revival of the demand in Russia had a positive impact on the economic situation in the country.

“I do not want to focus on figures today. Judging by the information that I get I see that people do not feel improvements yet. Half of the Belarusian people think that the social and economic situation continued to worsen in 2017, about 40% of people did not see any changes. Clearly, this is an opinion poll, of course, it depends on sentiments, but opinion polls are comparable, and we compare them. Members of the government, local authorities are more focused on attaining figures. Figures became more important than the essence. Such approaches are short-lived resolutions, and people will not benefit from them,” the Belarusian leader said.

The head of state added that he had familiarized himself with the report of the government on the results of the year and the fulfillment of his instructions.

He urged Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov to pay more attention to certain issues. “We have gathered together to discuss these issues and address crucial tasks. If the government does not see problems, we will try to specify them.