Industrial modernisation poses new challenges
Workers at Gomeloboi factory [Gomel Wallpaper factory] have filed a complaint to the regional head and to the Presidential Administration about overloaded warehouses at the enterprise and its negative impact.
Recently, the factory underwent modernisation and purchased two costly production lines for vinyl wallpaper. In 2013 President Lukashenko launched a large-scale modernisation process (which de facto means replacing obsolete equipment with modern equivalents), which has not resulted in any economic improvements. Ahead of the presidential elections in 2015, the Belarusian authorities will increasingly resort to manual steering of the economy, without considering structural economic reforms, and will hold the heads of industrial enterprises responsible for social issues arising from the derailed modernisation in the country.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.