Lukashenko strengthens public officials’ discipline in countdown to presidential campaign
The Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation against two Vice- Chairman of the Gomel regional executive committee on charges of corruption and abuse of power and official authority. In addition, there were some staff shifts in the State Security Committee (KGB), including replacement of the Grodno regional head. Recent trends include intensified anti-corruption campaign and permutations in power bodies. Influenced by events in Ukraine and the lack of progress in socio-economic development, President Lukashenko is strengthening discipline and loyalty among public officials and security forces before the presidential campaign kicks off. The president seeks to strengthen the loyalty of security agencies by staff-rotations and tightening the screws for public officials.
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.