Belarusian state-owned enterprises to construct housing in 2016
State organisations and enterprises with the state’s share in the authorized capital over 50% have been ordered to build 250,000 sq. metres of housing in 2016. This regulation has been adopted in order to enhance investment activity of enterprises. As a result, demand for corporate loans may grow due to enterprises lacking funds for housing construction. Commissioned apartments will be distributed among the workers and serve as a leash to keep most valuable employees. The state will gradually reduce its role in the housing construction by state cutting funding for housing construction and restricting the list of those eligible for soft loans. Due to falling incomes, the population has limited opportunities to finance housing construction and the prices on the housing market will continue to fall. Meanwhile, state housing construction plans will gradually decrease.
Following crackdown and arrests of participants in the spring protests, the authorities resumed arrests as punishment for participating in street protests in addition to fines, which for some time were the only punishment for political activity. On September 22nd, 2017, the riot police detained the Belarusian National Congress leader Nikolai Statkevich, the opposition politician was placed in detention centre on Akrestin street. On the same day, after serving seven days of arrest, another BNC leader, Vladimir Neklyaev, was released. He was sentenced for organising a street protest on September 8th against the West-2017 exercises. Other participants in the protest have been fined too. The authorities are likely to continue to use fines and arrests against political activists to punish for their protest activity.