Authorities are attempting to redirect popular discontent on private sector
President Lukashenka and the KGB press service commented on the high-profile arrest of businessman and blogger Alexander Knyrovich. The authorities are attempting to shift the responsibility for people’s falling living standards and growing housing and utility costs on private businesses. In addition, amid dwindling public resources, security officials are attempting to strengthen their position by engaging in the fight against business groups for funds redistribution. Some independent observers have noted the political nature of the criminal prosecution of the businessman, who was known for unnecessary publicity, liberal views and criticism of the government's economic policy. Apparently, amid growing tension in society and discontent with the conservation of the economic model by some public officials and businessmen, the president is reviewing the informal agreement with major businessmen about non-interference in politics.
According to Decree No. 221 of June 23rd, 2017, deadlines for the completion of foreign trade operations have been extended from 90 to 180 days for exports and from 60 to 90 days for imports. Delayed payments entailed a fine up to 2% of the transaction cost for each day of the delay, but could not exceed the total cost of the transaction. Most companies, when working with new counterparties, require a deferred payment for a period of three to six months. Due to the new regulation, violations are likely to reduce in number, so as the fines. Trade enterprises are likely to expand the assortment list due to the supply of new products in small lots, and the assortment list of exported Belarusian goods could expand, too. The new terms for completing foreign trade transactions would enable medium and small companies on the foreign trade market, exporters and importers are likely to grow in number and the geography of export-import operations could expand.