Government declares “hunting for intermediaries"
Alexander Lukashenko held a meeting on anti-brokering. The State Control Committee proposed a draft decree, which prohibits the use of mediation schemes in the procurement of goods (works, services) at the own expense of state organizations, as well as joint stock companies with state share over 50%.
In the loose monetary policy and de facto recession at the largest enterprises of the country a new "guilty" for inflation and demand for currency is elected - intermediaries (wholesale and retail trade). And if intervention in the retail business started in 2011 on the eve of New Year celebrations, the 2012 starts with a fight with wholesalers (according to Lukashenko, “The state and the economy are suffering losses due to the fact that a parasitic layer, being in clover on speculations, has formed”).
Thus, it has once again confirmed that Lukashenko does not believe in private and free business; all brokers for him are speculators.
In addition, a new round of fighting with intermediaries emphasizes two more new emerging trends.
Thus, in the conditions of the public sector domination in production because of an unfavorable business climate, private business got concentrated in specific niches, mainly in the services sector, in particular - in wholesale trade. Now, under conditions of high import capacity of the economy, the government wants to supplant private owners of a profitable business. In addition, the desire to "order control" means the de facto collapse of the state in the fight against corruption and counting on a proven power unit of the Government (the State Contol Committee (SCC)). “This issue has become a criminal. First of all, because the mediators - are mostly relatives, children, retainers, friends of individual managers, who buy such goods, whether it is imported or Belarusian”, - said Lukashenko. Thus, under the guise of anti-brokering, begins a new round of a carpet nomenclature struggle, including for rents, declining during the economic crisis (slight return). Another finding of the new trends to enhance the administrative interference into the business climate is the lack of confidence in receiving the new IMF loan and the count on further preferences from Russia.
The country's leadership has instructed the local authorities to raise minimum wages at enterprises by the end of 2019 to BYN 1,000, which would lead to an increase in the average wage in the economy as a whole to BYN 1 500. The pace of wage growth in 2017 is insufficient to ensure payroll at BYN 1000 by late 2017 without manipulating statistical indicators. In order to fulfil the president’s order, the government would have to increase budgetary expenditures on wages in healthcare and education, enterprises – to carry out further layoffs and expand the practice of taking loans to pay wages and restrict investment in modernisation of fixed assets. In 2010, the artificial increase in wages led to a threefold devaluation in 2011, an increase in the average salary to BYN 1500 will not match the capabilities of the economy and would lead to yet another devaluation.