Only petrochemicals and tobacco still make money
As of May 2014, 61 enterprises, subordinated to the state, will be required to list BYR 463 billion (EUR 34.0 million) to the National Development Fund. Payments should be made in equal instalments each month until the year-end. More than 80 % of the total amount to be transferred to the Fund will be due by the tobacco factory Neman and Belneftehim companies. This implies, that other economic sectors’ performance is rather poor and that they will not provide the anticipated level of budget revenues in 2014. As well, investment opportunities for these enterprises will be restricted. To patch budget deficit, the government might increase the number of inspections and other check-ups meant to replenish the state budget, and implement tougher sanctions for law violations.
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.