The authorities have nothing to offer to the local population
The cascade of economic problems in the regions has resulted in the authorities’ inability to make any positive offer to the local population in social sphere.
The key problems in the regions include: failure to perform GRP growth forecasts, problems at plants that have undergone modernization, and problems in the construction industry.
The number one issue, which has social and economic importance for the half of the regions, is the African swine fever epidemic and unprofessional actions by veterinary services. Unprofessionalism manifested, firstly, in a belated response by specialists, and secondly, in failed information policy vis-à-vis the local population. Most of the information about the ASF was circulating as rumors.
According to most recent estimates, the epidemic has affected Grodno, Vitebsk, Minsk and Brest regions. Pork exports are banned in several regions. For locals it is a significant blow on family budgets. Around the epidemic’s epicenter the ban on pig breeding ranges from six months to four years. In terms of financial compensation, the villagers were paid far less than the pork’s market value.
In the Gomel region, authorities unexpectedly granted a positive decision to register “GDF Regional Development Center”, founded by Peter Kuznetsov, “For Freedom” Movement Gomel branch Coordinator.
Belarusian regions’ economic map might also change. Minsk region might stop being a donor-region due to Uralkali’s breakup with the Belarusian Potash Company late July 2013 and declined potash exports at Belaruskali. Belaruskali is the second-largest taxpayer in the Minsk region.
Mogilev City Executive Committee received 1,060 complaints from citizens, which were 230 less than in 2012. However, there was an increase in the number of collective complaints. The main subject of citizens’ complaints was shortcomings in the housing construction. Previously, most complaints concerned issues with housing and communal services. The reduced number of appeals rather implies the local officials’ reduced authority than the lack of local problems in the regions.