Belarusian Trade Ministry is unlikely to defeat regional protectionism without changing principles of listing taxes to local budgets

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July 26, 2016 0:35

According to the presidential decree No 188 of June 3rd, 2016, the Trade Ministry will be transformed into the Antitrust and Trade Ministry, which will be in charge of price regulation, consumer market control and regulation, ensuring equal conditions for all market participants. The ‘reform’ is likely reduce the time for administrative procedures when dealing with disputes between market participants, to simplify access to regional state trading enterprises for suppliers of all types of ownership, to enhance the state’s intervention in pricing. Regional protectionism arises from the principle of taxation at the place of the legal address of a supplier or a commercial enterprise, without changing this principle, the practice of administrative pressure on the market in order to replenish local budgets will remain inefficient.

Image: Дэвид Симонс, The Economist

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President ensures continuity of state administration with young middle-level personnel
October 02, 2017 12:08
Image: BRSM.BY

President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.

President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.

The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.

The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.

The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.