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Monday, 05 August 2019 10:22

Economic agenda in focus of Lukashenko's meeting with Council of Ministers

Economic agenda in focus of Lukashenko's meeting with Council of Ministers

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko held a meeting with senior officials of the Council of Ministers to discuss economic matters on 2 August, BelTA has learned.

A meeting with the country's top officials responsible for the economic sector is a traditional format used by the Belarusian head of state to discuss the state of things in the domestic economy and work out efficient solutions.

“We are having another meeting to discuss current issues, though there are also some strategic matters, for example, relations with Russia within the framework of the Union State. We are to discuss these matters and to take decisions. These are not the kind of issues where we need to start from scratch trying to come to grips with them. These matters are well known, they are discussed one way or another in the society. We need no self-reports. We need concrete proposals and their substantiation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The matters that were discussed covered finances, investment and foreign economic activities. “People who initiated a number of projects, decrees and resolutions of the president and draft laws will be asked to provide further explanation and clarification on these documents. It is also important to hear alternative views in order to take balanced decisions. Therefore, this traditional economic session is attended not only by government members, but also other high-ranking officials, heads of law enforcement agencies and bodies whose work has to do with the matters discussed at the meeting,” the president said.

Premier Sergei Rumas delivered a keynote speech. Speaking to the media after the meeting, he unveiled the main topics and key decisions taken by the president during the discussion.

Among the matters discussed at the meeting was implementation of major investment projects, such as the launch of a new facility at Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Mill. “The government has confirmed its commitment to commission this facility in the second part of this year,” the premier said. In his words, the facility is running in trial mode at 70% of its designed capacity. “The price environment is not bad. Most of the output is sold abroad. At the same time, the facility should be commissioned into operation and reach its designed capacity by the year-end,” Sergei Rumas said.

The participants of the meeting also discussed investment projects in the woodworking industry in Dobrush and Shklov. “The head of state gave an instruction to fine-tune these projects. Appropriate draft decrees should be submitted to the Belarus President Administration in August,” the head of government informed.

Harvesting was also high on the agenda. Vice-Premier Vladimir Dvornik updated the head of state on progress with harvesting. Some 55% of cropping area has already been cleared. “All all all, the results are much better than in the previous year. However, the head of state noted that not in all regions the situation is good. Unfortunately, weather conditions interfere with harvesting. Besides, there is also human factor, mismanagement at some enterprises,” Sergei Rumas said. In his words, the president gave appropriate instructions to rectify the situation and provide farmers with the necessary fuel supply.

Answering reporters' questions, the premier noted that the participants of the meeting did not discuss macroeconomic indicators and the monetary policy. These matters will be discussed at a separate meeting to be hosted by the head of state. This meeting might take place in mid-August.

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